Tuesday, July 17

New apartment buildings in North Village put focus on design

New apartment buildings in the North Village feature different exteriors and modern designs. (Owen Emerson/Daily Bruin)

New apartment buildings in the North Village feature different exteriors and modern designs. (Owen Emerson/Daily Bruin)

The green and white metal building on Strathmore Avenue, surrounded by drought-resistant plants, stands out from other North Village apartments in the area.

Architects for these new apartments said they aimed to add to the variety of buildings in the North Village by using glass to make rooms look bigger and to make them more modern.

Students can now lease apartments at Studio 11024, Ophir Terrace and the new university apartment building on Glenrock Avenue.

Some students said they think the new buildings will be more comfortable than older ones, while others questioned their affordability and new design.

Bill Wilhelm, president of R.D. Olson Construction, said the goal was to construct trendy and eco-friendly apartments in the new building, Studio 11024, which is located at 11024 Strathmore Drive.

Wilhelm said the company redesigned the building’s exterior as new materials were introduced. He said he thinks changing from plaster and bricks to metal and wood improves the structure’s ambience.

Studio 11024 is intended to be high-end, but the building was still designed with students in mind, Wilhelm added.

Ophir Terrace opened in July in a new building at 11090 Ophir Drive. The complex features a white, brown and green exterior made from wood, cement and plaster, said property manager Linda Miller. She added the apartment building was intended to provide students with affordable housing options.

Campus architect Jeffrey Averill said he chose to include a lot of glass in one of the new university apartment buildings, located at 558 Glenrock Ave., so he could use large, cornered windows to complement the building’s design.

Averill, who used to be on the Westwood Community Design Review Board, said he thinks North Village has a lot of variance in its buildings, but many of them are poorly designed. He added he thinks the new buildings will add a necessary improvement to the architecture in the North Village.

“The problem with these buildings is that they don’t have good proportions or composure,” he said. “I don’t feel that it’s important that they’re modern, but that they’re well-designed,” he said.

Lauren Han, a third-year sociology student, said she didn’t like the exterior design of Studio 11024, but she liked the inside of the building because it mimics the style of the dorms on the Hill.

“I would want something that feels more like home,” she said. “At first, I thought it was a parking garage.”

Some students said they were concerned the new buildings would be much more expensive than others in the North Village.

“The most important thing is the rent,” said Yeonhwa Kim, a third-year political science student. “If I had more money, I would move in there.”

Both Wilhelm and Miller said they plan to continue to bring new apartment buildings to Westwood in the near future.

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News senior staff

Roberto Luna Jr. is currently a senior staffer covering Westwood, crime and transportation. He was previously an assistant News editor from 2015-2016 and a News contributor from 2014-2015.

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