Larkspur Courts

Larkspur Courts

From Quarry to Residential Village 


LocationLarkspur, California United States
ClientLincoln Property Company
Size280 multifamily units

SWA was hired to help reclaim an abandoned quarry into an attractive residential village. The program called for 256du on 12.5 net acres, a density of 2.5 du/acre. The City of Larkspur required that 97 of the total units be family units. They defined family units as residences with two or more bedrooms and located not more than one level above grade. The City was very sensitive to livability issues related to this project. SWA’s approach was to freely reshape/sculpt the degraded site to maximize the site’s potential for the proposed residential use.The project required an interdisciplinary approach involving architects, civil engineers, geotechnical consultants and horticulturists. SWA was the lead designer responsible for the site plan, overall building massing, site grading, and open space improvements. Following the schematic phase, the landscape architects played an important role in coordination with the work of the architect and civil engineer; and continued this effort throughout the construction process. To achieve the design goals, the designers employed the following concepts: • Mass and site buildings to maximize offsite view potentials. • Create a pedestrian precinct within the development – emphasize the pedestrian connections and amenities. • Restrict vehicles to the perimeter of the site. Create a distinct identity within each courtyard cluster. • Given the City’s desire to create 97 family units, integrate these units with non-family units via building clustering and shared courtyards. • On a steeply terraced site, take up grade with building clusters and retaining wall. Generate usable outdoor spaces.