The Next Great Place Paseo Colorado, Pasadena CA

“Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn, a diverse architectural firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., is founded on a rich tradition of city planning and design.

We are urbanists — indeed many of us are former public officials — with a deep belief in the transformative power of architecture. For that reason, we design for appropriateness and context, for authenticity and permanence, creating buildings that remember the past and serve the future,” says Stan Eckstut.

It is with this belief in mind and continuing a legacy which began with “the triumph of Battery Park City… (as) the next great place” in New York (Time Magazine, June 1986), that Paseo Colorado will fulfill this aspiration in a remarkable tale of how a grand urban “city beautiful” plan was lost and found again, to be immortalized once and for all with the completion of this project, and the reinstatement of the historic 1923 Bennett Plan.

Perhaps most remarkably, what began as rather narrowly defined retail project, has resulted in some of the most dramatic new public environments in recent times — a rare demonstration of architecture and public open space integrated into a single design.

In addition to selling the very notion of public, or even civic, open space to a devoutly car-oriented region, this design has created prime real estate addresses for new retail, restaurants, entertainment, residential and commercial tenants.

It has become a district plan — a great place, going beyond the call of an ordinary retail tenant driven project. It is an authentic place in pursuit of smaller, but higher quality, public spaces. Spaces that lack formality or unity, seeking rather complexity and variety, offering the guest a multitude of choices.

The specific design seeks to create a seamless connection to the community around the site. We try to blur distinctions between old and new — not exaggerate the differences. Creating a more enduring design, one which takes its rightful place in the urban setting.

The success, on many levels, of this project is a model for other joint development projects worldwide. Its quality of design — unusual for today's urban developments — has sought to emphasize the essential over the merely fashionable, creating an architecture that is original, unique, and uniquely suited to the circumstances of place, client and community.

All our work — whether for institutions of higher education, the public sector, or private development - responds to a complexity of interrelated needs and objectives; respects equally the owner, users and stakeholders; and rises to the challenges of quality, enduring value, and design. Our goal for the projects that we work on is to save what's worth saving, add tremendous value and deliver an environment that unifies and inspires community spirit.

The Paseo Colorado project team from EEK Architects includes Stan Eckstut, Steve Nakada, Vaughan Davies, Gordon Olschlager, Elaine Nesbit, Norton Ching, Colins Lozada, Misa Lund, Sharon Pei-Hwa Huang, Carol Neely, Daisuke Tanigaki, Juan Villalta, Matthew Blake, Todd Haase, Chris Bach, Aimee Propes, Jason De Pierre and Brent Gesell.