The Paseos at Montclair North

Montclair, CA

Built on the backbone of a transit focused specific plan by Moule-Polyzoides, the Paseos is a walkable neighborhood anchored by a linear public park. The site—with former lives as a citrus grove and then a retail center—is sandwiched between Montclair Plaza Mall and the regional Metrolink transit station. The 384 townhouse units find their style cues in a contemporary Andalusian meets Santa Barbara expression.

To simplify the complexity of layered public and private spaces, we identified typologies for paseos, parking courts, and public or semi-public spaces. We set about to craft an identifiable sense of place through references to Montclair’s not too distant agricultural history. Crops such as avocado and oranges were selected to color walls and furniture, influence planting selections, and serve as a wayfinding device to orient residents and visitors.

Our aim was to design a healthy, vibrant community centered around a sunken central park—the Arroyo. The Arroyo is the heart of the residential development, a gift to the community, and the place that most completely reveals the story of sustainability. Gabion retaining walls are filled with native cobble found throughout the site.

At the lower end of the park, a rain garden infiltrates storm run-off collected from the park and surrounding streets.

Traditional playground equipment was eschewed in favor of informal play utilizing open space, walls, and a large climbing tree that was brought to the site.

Two pools serve the community and allow for lap swimming and lounging.