Period sensitive multi-family in historic downtown district
12 Unit 2 bed / 2 baths
1,000 sf typical, subterranean parking
Contractor - Tim Ryan
AIAVC Award Participant 2004
Villa du Soleil is a twelve unit two-story apartment building located on Main Street just blocks from historic Downtown Ventura. The site lies along the crest of Main opposite Cemetery Park. The rise affords views of the Pacific Ocean and Downtown. The site is surrounded by an eclectic mix of period Victorian and post-war houses, which have been converted into duplexes, rental units, and retail use.
The project was subject to the City of Ventura’s Corridor Renovation Guidelines. The guidelines require sensitive adherence to one of the five identified architectural styles found in the downtown vicinity. The project was designed in the Craftsman style. Project research included neighborhood walking tours and taking cues from several period examples. During the design process, careful attention was given to appropriate forms, proportion, massing, height, variation of building plane, window type, materials and details. The building features traditional authentic materials and details such as cedar shingle sided gables supported by brackets, exposed beams with stepped corbel ends, exposed rafter tails, and single hung windows with muntins in the upper sash. The result was a Craftsman style building which blends well with the context of the adjacent structures while, pulling the neighborhood to the next level of medium density housing desirable in the downtown.
The site slopes down to an alley where the semi-subterranean parking garage access is located. This allows the Main Street facade to have four units facing the street, which gives visual interest and liveliness for the residents and passersby alike.
Villa du Soleil, or House of the Sun, was conceived to take full advantage of Downtown Ventura and its quintessential sense and experience. The building has a U-shape, which opens to a sun-filled courtyard. Each of the distinct units has views of the ocean, Channel Islands, pier, and Downtown--a combination unique to Ventura. Residents enjoy light-filled spaces and private balconies. The residents are now participants in the vibrant downtown setting, where they can walk from home to shopping, restaurants, entertainment, recreation, and culture.