Carrier Johnson + CULTURE, the award-winning global architecture, interior design and branding leader, has announced the completion of The Brand, a mixed-use project that recently won a prestigious national design honors. Composed of two buildings, Brand East and Brand West, the retail and housing project has contributed to the reinvigoration of downtown Glendale, and last month won a prestigious Gold Nugget Award of Merit in the Best Multifamily Housing Community (100-250 du/acre) category.
Located on a prominent site bounded by Wilson Street at the intersections of Brand and Orange Streets, the project's two buildings include 401 living units, a mix of two-story lofts, one- to three-bedroom apartments, and townhouses. A shared outdoor program of pools and plazas, along with varied recreation amenities, add to a lively mix of ground-floor retail and dining options.
“Downtown Glendale has undergone dramatic urban revitalization in the last decade, and we're glad to be a part of it,” says Gordon Carrier, FAIA, founding principal of Carrier Johnson + CULTURE. The memorable design for The Brand has boosted its profile further, say experts: Apartments in The Brand are highly sought after in this busy neighborhood, thanks in part to expanding demographics of students, retirees, millennials, and professionals. Residents of the trendy, walkable neighborhood enjoy proximity to the iconic Alex Theater as well as more recent and highly popular sites such as the Glendale Galleria and the Americana at Brand.
David Gonzalez, senior associate designer and lead architect for The Brand, believes that this eclectic mix of old and new is part of what makes Glendale vibrant and relevant.
“These two buildings have changed the heart and soul of Glendale,” says Gonzalez, who has worked with Carrier Johnson + CULTUREfor 14 years. "Brand East and Brand West illustrate how architecture can resolve density considerations and complement existing neighborhood character, while creating a welcoming oasis in the heart of an urban community." Gonzalez congratulates the developer, Holland Partner Group, for its vision and creativity in spearheading the venture.
The project commenced more than three years ago, with community leaders and Holland Partner Group looking to secure a vibrant future for the formerly sleepy Glendale. For example, one civic mandate was to include the building’s arcade for ground-floor shops and restaurants, which is designed to boost foot traffic. Other design challenges for the project team included the question of how to synthesize contemporary design with neighboring classical features. “To set The Brand apart, we incorporated a series of large chevrons, to create the retail arcade,” says Gonzalez. "The bold chevron symbols became the branding footprint for the building.”
The design team also had to grapple with the challenge of scale, being sited next to a major office tower. The approach by Carrier Johnson + CULTUREutilized bold graphics, details, lighting and an exuberant color scheme to attract attention in spite of the neighboring tower. The chevrons and bright orange façade details energize the street and celebrate the new shops and dining spots.
While both buildings, Brand East and Brand West, successfully combine Southern California lifestyle and an urban vibe, the two are designed for very different residents. For the more energetic and outgoing residents, Brand East offers easy access to a two-story fitness center, rooftop saline pool and ground-floor retail. Brand West's more relaxed atmosphere boasts intimate common areas, relaxing outdoor spaces, and roomier dwellings. Both buildings, however, offer access to a planted green-roof terrace where residents can admire magnificent sunrises and sunsets, as well as barbeque grills and fire pits.
Other shared leisure amenities make The Brand an alluring destination. Residents can use the on-site dog-run, view films in indoor or outdoor screening spaces, watch plasma televisions at the poolside kitchen and bar, or hang out at the outdoor game tables. After a workout in the two-story gym with its yoga studio and FLEX and Core fitness centers, residents can relax in the spa and indoor lounges.
The Brand's unique exterior facade, which required 18 months of construction, illustrates Carrier Johnson + CULTURE’s dedication to potent contemporary design. The building loosely models the box-on-box design of the office building next door, but with cubist flourishes that lead the eye into and around the striking facade. Clad in cementitious plaster with vermillion accents — playful reference to Orange Avenue — the colors and massings create a welcome contemporary frontage. The arcade’s chevrons bridge the two buildings aesthetically.
“The emphasized frames around the two-story windows attain the status of urban markers,” says Gonzalez. “From inside, those windows offer expansive views of the Verdugo Mountains and the surrounding cityscape.”
Initially, developers planned to target students, but Carrier Johnson + CULTURE’s vibrant design has lured millennials, professionals and retirees to The Brand. As a result, demand significantly outpaces availability. But with eclectic dining options such as Tender Greens and PizzaRev, not to mention retail offerings in the arcade, The Brand offers a destination Glendale residents will flock to — for years to come.