Mason and Cleo mix urban glamour and family-friendly designs
By Stephanie Case
It takes a special kind of community to make an architect’s creativity run wild. But when KTGY Architects was tasked with designing Mason and Cleo, a pair of brand new townhouse clusters along Bluff Creek Drive behind the Runway South Apartments, they saw a chance to build a different kind of home.
“It’s exciting knowing we can pursue all those great ideas that don’t make sense in every neighborhood,” says Alan Scales, principal at KTGY. “We can take that creativity to the next level. And Playa, frankly, is demanding it. They don’t want something run-of-the-mill. They want unique design.”
The 81 new homes of Mason and Cleo, each situated in four-story residential buildings, are rife with interesting design choices.
First, the layout: Each residence is a single story, eschewing the more typical three floors and a connective staircase layout in favor of a spread-out, 1,800- to 2,600-square-foot plane.
“We’re basically flipping the traditional townhouse on its side,” says Scales — and going horizontal makes all the difference.
Front doors unveil an open-concept great room, flowing through the kitchen and living areas into large outdoor
decks with space for dining and entertainment.
Sky-high ceilings stretch up to 11 feet, giving the main area a vast, airy feel. Glass panels and near floor-to-ceiling windows extend visuals from indoor to outdoor environments, making the space feel even more expansive.
Two to three bedrooms, plus a modernized master bath and a two-car garage, branch off from the great room.
While Mason buildings come as a six-plex, Cleo has just one unit per floor, allowing the sun to pour in through windows on all four sides of each home — a rarity for attached dwellings.
This offers not only light, but also privacy.
“You get the exclusivity of being the only one on any given level,” Scales says.
The KTGY team built in an elevator to whisk each homeowner up to their floor, giving each residence the feel of a sleek Manhattan penthouse.
But then there are some conventional elements that balance out the urban glamour: warm, neutral bricks and familiar architectural details.
Mason embodies this best, with its cozy blend of East Coast brownstone and beachside flat.
“It has an appeal to a traditional eye, aesthetically,” Scales explains.
Cleo, in contrast, is Mason’s edgier sister, with a more artful, geometrically composed exterior featuring clean lines, mixed materials, glass panels and bold pops of fire engine red.
Together, the pair captures the dual personalities of Playa Vista: part cutting-edge, part traditional.
While this is home to innovation hubs like Google, Facebook and YouTube Space LA, whose employees work day in and out on sleek, high-tech designs, it’s also home to families who enjoy the traditions of suburban life. On any given weekend, kids run around with their parents in tow, kicking soccer balls at Bluff Creek Fields or climbing jungle gyms at The Lawn, the new urban park that runs between Mason and Cleo.
On the afternoon of Mason’s and Cleo’s May 21 grand opening, Village Drive and McConnell Avenue were packed with young families perusing their potential future homes. To celebrate the occasion, vendors passed out free ice cream and waffles, and guitarists strummed upbeat songs to keep the mood cheery. But the energy never sunk: Toddlers with wide smiles ran through each bedroom of the units, climbing over furniture and gaping out the vast windows.
KTGY had Playa Vista’s growing families in mind when they built Mason and Cleo. The open layout can accommodate the biggest of gatherings, whether a dinner party is flowing from the deck to the great room, or a gaggle of elementary schoolers are comfortably seated around the vast kitchen island and starting their homework.
Beyond Mason’s and Cleo’s accessibility, it’s their fresh design concept that Scales thinks sets them apart.
“It’s always about creating something unique,” he says. “Not just your average stucco boxes.”
Learn more about Mason and Cleo at brookfieldsocal.com.