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Smart Growth Awards project nominee

MXD 830 supports Golden Hill artist community

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Mxd830 is an eco-friendly, infill, mixed-use building designed and built by local architect Mike Burnett as part of his graduate degree thesis. The building was conceived and designed to support the diverse artist community of Golden Hill while helping revitalize the commercial corridor of 25th Street.

Being a resident of the Southpark/Golden Hill neighborhood, Burnett felt it was important to use his architecture degree and license to make a difference where he lived. In 2007, while working toward his Masters of Architecture degree in Real Estate Development, his class was focused on finding a real project and building their design thesis.

Burnett sought out a vacant, underutilized property along a commercial corridor that could become a catalyst for new development and energy for the neighborhood, put together investors, bought the property, designed the building and then acted as general contractor to construct it. Once complete, he acted as the broker to handpick local artists and creative types to fill each space.

Mxd830 is an eco-friendly, infill, mixed-use building housing local artists and their businesses.

Mxd830 offers both residential and commercial spaces in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate the myriad of lifestyles found in the diverse community. The ground floor displays a design studio for a car designer from Nissan, an abstract painter's studio, an illustration artist from Sony, a landscape designer, a painter's workshop offering art and design classes, and soon to come, a beer/wine bar.

Upstairs are two residential units housing a hair and makeup designer, the painter from downstairs and a museum curator. Burnett's architecture office, a photography studio and tattoo artist are adjacent to the residential units.

Most spaces enjoy 12-foot ceilings with tall windows allowing natural cross-ventilation and patios or balconies focused around a central courtyard that doubles as parking.

The modern design incorporates sustainable building technologies and techniques, including drought-tolerant landscaping, south-facing vine structures, permeable turf block to filter storm water on-site, tankless water heaters, a cool roof system and dual glazed low-e windows for natural day lighting and cross-ventilation. The steel guardrails and stairs are left unpainted and only 'waxed' after they patina into a warm rusty color -- eliminating the painting necessary for ongoing maintenance.

Mxd830 took a leftover vacant lot with a height restriction, wedged between a busy gas station and a significant historic home, and created an example of how smart growth principles can be applied in a fun and engaging way.

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