Real estate developer Carmel Partners awarded Surfacedesign creative control of the outside living spaces at its luxury apartment project Atelier, designed by architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz. Taking inspiration from the building’s proximity to the former Los Angeles Garment District, Surfacedesign’s overall approach was influenced by the Bauhaus textile patterns of Anni Albers. Geometrical lines and shapes are repeated throughout the 33-story project’s two outdoor living spaces: pool/amenity deck and rooftop lounge. Surfacedesign injected the textile inspiration into the composition, stitching together the hardscape with a rich landscape of native and Mediterranean plantings.
Atelier’s 5th-floor pool area serves as its primary communal space. For the landscape, Surfacedesign’s palette uses a combination of silver ground covers, agaves, and acacias with pops of color: reds, oranges, and yellows. The silver ground covers reference the glassy/steel materiality of the urban Los Angeles skyline. The red, orange, and yellow bougainvillea, aloes, and succulents are familiar Southern California favorites and warmly ground the project in its downtown Los Angeles context. The plantings also provide some shade and a sense of privacy for the deck’s many amenities: outdoor grilling areas, a dog run, a bocce ball court and game terrace, a 25-meter lap pool and spa, an outdoor firepit and fireplace, cabañas, and a hammock garden. The Atelier outdoor-living project was capped by a rooftop lounge with sweeping views of downtown Los Angeles.