Laguarda.Low Architects, LLC

Laguarda.Low Architects, LLC

New York, NY


Elk Grove Promenade

The architectural language for Elk Grove Promenade draws inspiration from pedestrian-friendly Old Town Sacramento and the colors and textures of the agrarian Sacramento Valley. Modern and undoubtedly “Californian”, the style provides a comfortable environment for the progressive population of Elk Grove.

The revived design for this previously proposed mall seeks to integrate both cars and pedestrians to accommodate all visitors, and elongate the traditional dumbbell scheme. Due to the expanded length of this mall – now called the promenade – the project’s shops are separated into two types: one focusing on lifestyle tenants and one focusing on fashion. In the middle of these zones sits a large urban park connecting the food court, restaurants and the cinema. At the elbows of the promenade are pocket parks, providing further pedestrian-friendly zones with coffee shops and outdoor seating.

The formal architectural language for this project draws inspiration both from the scale and richness of Old Town Sacramento with its covered walkways and canopies enveloping an environment that was conducive to the movements of pedestrians, and from the colors and patterns of the rich, agrarian lands of the surrounding Sacramento Valley. Modern yet undoubtedly local and Californian, the style attempts to provide a comfortable environment for the progressive population of Elk Grove.

The design plays with three formal elements: the expression of a folding plane, the patterns of the agrarian grid and the forms of a simple shed roofs. The folding planes are expressed in a number of scales in the environment from the undulating canopies of the covered walkways to simple directional monument signs folding out of the ground. The agrarian orders inspired the colors and patterns of concrete panels, window mullions, trellises and canopies as well as the more literal patterning of garden spaces and plazas. Finally, the shed roofs soften the edges of the spaces, and mark the main building entrances.

Located adjacent to the park, the food court building is seen as an extension of the garden both in its design and its layout. Under the large folding shed roof, the space is divided into an exterior covered dining area and a glazed conditioned interior zone that looks out to the park. The outside dining area focuses on a three-sided fireplace with a copper covered, conical chimney. The interior layout, organized around 5 sky-lit copper rings, manages to create an intimate gathering space that still provides views of the park. Furthermore, the stepping up of the food court tenants emphasizes the progression towards the park, with a continuation of the outside garden language brought inside through the now familiar agrarian patterns of the floor paving.

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Status: Built
Location: Elk Grove, California