Four Projects that Prove Design is in the Details

November 14, 2018
Details can take a multifamily building from a place to live to a place to call home. These projects prove that protecting the budget for design elements goes a long way, especially in for-rent properties.


In many large-scale rental projects, it can be easy to cut out detailing to save money, but that was not the plan for Mosaic at Levis Commons. This market-rate multifamily community remained design-heavy despite its size. In order to achieve the modern Italianate theme, designers focused on the details. A lot of time was spent on exterior colors and materials that would effectively break up the large scale of the project. Wrapping the building in cornice and bracket detailing in a repetitive fashion created a warm, sophisticated look and a welcoming feel for the exterior.


This art deco-inspired student housing building took its design direction from the 1960s bus station that previously occupied the site. A modern art deco style is evident throughout the whole building, beginning with the stylistic community sign. White panels with contrasting blue accent color add dimension and curiosity to the exterior. Along with architectural details, the design team focused on communal spaces and how they might be used by residents, which informed the plan design. The outdoor living space transitions smoothly into the integrated clubhouse via large glass overhead doors. A study area provides different communal study spots as well as fully equipped computers when students need a change of scenery from their laptops. Upstairs on the rooftop patio, residents can access a life-sized chess board, beautiful views of Eastern Carolina University and plenty of space to enjoy the fresh air.


One of the most noticeable features of the streetscape is the large steel awning with massive support brackets. This element was intended to humanize the height of the product. The brick columns draw the eye back down the building to view inside the large windows. Strategic color selection complements the architectural design. Dark brown on the protruding balconies gives definition, and white on the primary building plane feels light and open. This openness continues in the unconditioned corridors within each residential building, which reinforce the connection to the outdoors and the surrounding community.


Inspired by the Belleview Inn building that was renovated as a main focal point of this project, the objective was to respectfully design new homes to fit in with the look of the original structure. Because of the history of this project, the details meant everything. The iconic green roof was added to the townhome designs, which express the community’s coastal theme. All-glass railings, large windows and bracket and ladder detailing on the front porch further illustrate that theme. These features were key to appealing to the 55+ active adult target market, and by adding plenty of Florida light inside, the open floor plans are perfect for entertaining or quietly enjoying waterfront or golf course views. Another key feature for the 55+ market was an optional elevator, making that second-floor bedroom much more accessible long-term.