Architecture

Kansas Modern

What should small scale infill development look like in San Diego?

Traditional apartments look inward, with small windows, low ceilings and generally no real place where residents can connect with each other.  Kansas Modern is the product of an urbanist approach to development… it’s all about looking outward.  Residents are encouraged to walk, bike and generally spend more time outside exploring their community.

While the building lacks an elevator, a formal lobby, and many of the amenities embraced by more traditional developers… it more than makes up for that with beautifully designed spaces and efficient apartments that are flooded with natural light.  One of the more distinctive elements of the building is a 20’ x  23’ art installation on the second level, which welcomes residents coming home from their daily adventures, and serves as a dramatic backdrop to a communal gathering area where residents can engage with friends and neighbors.

Perhaps the building’s greatest asset is its close proximity to an endless array of unique restaurants, microbreweries, eclectic shops, art galleries and entertainment venues.  The developer understood the importance of contributing to the increasing vibrancy of the area by activating the street corner with a small coffee shop that features a large overhead roll-up door, which will soon open the space to an inviting outdoor dining patio.

Blurring that line between indoor and outdoor spaces is a recurring theme which is also carried to each of the building’s 24 apartments.  Each unit is appointed with a spacious private balcony (or ground floor patio) that ranges in size from 80 sf to 375 sf and features either bi-folding or stacking patio doors.

The simple and clean modernist style embraces large fenestrations over unnecessary ornamentation.  At the pedestrian level, the building is articulated with a rhythm of forms and materials that brings the mass of the building down to a more human scale.

As we continue to seek solutions to the ongoing housing crisis, it is important to consider how we can effectively increase density while also contributing to the quality of our urban fabric.  If you feel that this project successfully achieves this goal, we hope you will support it for an Orchid.

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  • Orchid Nominee

  • Project Address:

    4195 Kansas Street

    Project Owner/Developer:

    Kansas Modern, LLC. / BV Architecture + Development

    Owner Contact Name/Email:

    Beri Varol / bvarol@bvarchitecture.com

    Project Architect/Designer:

    Beri Varol / BV Architecture + Development

    Image Credit:

    Michael Auda

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Orchids & Onions is an educational and fundraising program of the San Diego Architectural Foundation, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization dedicated to education and the promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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