[Photo by Chase Jarvis]

Very recently, two condominium flats opened up in our Park Modern project. They’re great flats and, in reaching out to our community about their availability, we started to think about why we like living in the Park Modern so much. It got us scratching our heads about housing types and city living; how different types of architecture really can improve the quality of life. As architects, it’s refreshing to see a correlation between good design and healthy lifestyles.

So given what big fans we are of density, forward-thinking design and urban living, we often find ourselves enrolling others in not only the housing type, but also the accompanying lifestyle qualities. Today’s post is a simple and straight-forward roster of our favorite characteristics of modern, urban condo living.

Land grab. Even a small condo building can fit 8 or 10 homes onto the same lot size that would typically be consumed by a single family home. Smaller footprints create a healthy density to cities, making it easier to walk to amenities. It also saves more land for parks, public spaces and nature. Well designed buildings use land as if it were finite.

Shoes are more fun to buy than tires. When you live an urban lifestyle you spend more time walking on sidewalks filled with interesting people rather than sitting in your lonely car on the parking lot that we refer to as I-5.

[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Location, location, ovation. Urban dwellings are typically a walk away from your favorite cafés, watering holes and shoe stores. Spending more time at the places you enjoy is a great way to honor your time.

Transportation Authority. When you can’t walk somewhere there’s usually great public transportation that allows you to take light rail to the airport or a bus to the soccer game. In addition to the convenience, it’s also nice to have a few beers at the game and let the bus driver be the designated driver for the evening.

[Photo by Art Grice]

Less (work) is more (play). There’s just less “stuff” to take care of and the maintenance responsibilities of the building can be shared amongst homeowners. A good solid condo building uses low maintenance materials like steel siding that never needs to be painted and repainted… and repainted again.

Death by weed whacker. We don’t enjoy spending our weekends (or our money) tending to manicured lawns. We like to do other stuff, like taking walks to Green Lake, throwing dinner parties and traveling.

[Photo by Chase Jarvis]

Safety in numbers. There are more eyes on the street and there’s more people coming and going with a community of residents. In a smaller condo building, where everyone knows each other, there are more people looking out for one another.

Social Security. In a building like the Park Modern, there’s always something going on; dinner parties, back deck BBQs or just hanging out in the sun with your friends at the coffee shop. It’s easier to be social and, in a modern urban community, there’s a good chance of having like-minded people around you.

[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Green-schmeen. All the solar paneled, recycled, gray water tanks in the world aren’t as environmentally sustainable as simply living with less. Well designed, modern condominiums tend to use less square footage; less square footage means that it took less material to build it and less is required to fill it.

Con-sumption. Design-conscious, forward-thinking, urban dwellers tend to have a deliberate attitude about consuming. We buy a few nice things that last for the rest of our lives, we take care of them and then we pass them onto the next generation.

[Photo by Chase Jarvis]

Cheers from BUILD