This townhouse in Venice, California by Dennis Gibbons Architects is part retail space and part private family residence. Really this isn’t a new idea. Traditionally shop keepers would live above their shop but in more recent times there has been a total separation of retail and residential. I am glad that these mixed use projects are returning. I can name many UK high streets that have a second storey that is completely unused and would be viable for residential conversions.
It is not just the project that has a mixture of uses. The street it sits on is also fairly varied. The road contains a number of uses including, small family homes, boutiques, independent stores and artists who live, work and display in the same building. For me this is fantastic, it is the complete isolation of high streets in the UK that can in part cause there failure. By mingling uses and creating a wealth of unique shops and galleries there is a direct local population of customers as well as a pull to the area for outsiders.