Just steps away from the bustle of Castro Street in
downtown Mountain View, nestled between two sprawling parks, is Park
Place Apartments. With plenty of green space, towering trees, and walk-ups
reminiscent of New York brownstones, Park Place is the perfect combination of
old-school charm and modern comfort.
Park Place sits on the grounds of the old Mountain View
High School. When the site was purchased, the school closed and merged with
Awalt High School – coincidentally, the very same high school attended by our
CEO Jackie Safier. Her father and Prometheus founder, Sanford Diller, purchased
the property during Jackie’s senior year. Jackie had no idea of the acquisition
until she joined Prometheus, years later.
The old high school served as design inspiration for the
Neighborhood, and there are nods to education and learning throughout. We sat
down with Marie Fisher and Madeline Trait from Marie Fisher
Interior Design, the designers behind the project, for insight into their
Where did the
inspiration for the Park Place renovation come from? I know it was heavily
influenced by the history of the Neighborhood. Tell us more about that.
Marie Fisher [MF]:
The site was the former Mountain View High School, which closed in 1981 and
relocated to the old Awalt High School site, merging with the school and retaining
the Mountain View High School name. Their mascot is the Spartan, with their
colors being black and gold. This site and the City Hall construction on Castro
Street marked the beginning of the gentrification of Mountain View. We knew
right away we wanted to incorporate elements of education into the design.
How did you select
the artwork that is featured?
artwork we selected had to fit in to the high school scholastic vibe. In
addition, we're always looking for pieces that are from local emerging artists
that add an element of surprise. A great example of this at Park Place is Clint Imboden's ruler art piece, titled
'MEASURE'. It’s a whimsical use of an everyday
material that really enhances the lounge space.
We also used art from local artist Tiffany Jan. Tiffany's
art was chosen as we were looking for work that was hand drawn as well as
something that felt playful. We also wanted the artwork to be black to
coordinate with the wall where it would be placed so that we would have a
subtle monochromatic color arrangement.
What are your
definitely love the details. There are elements of the leasing office and
Neighbor Lounge that are unexpected, and that adds an element of fun to the
design. An example of that is the custom wallpaper in the bathroom, designed by
Marie Fisher Interior Design (MFID). It’s a quirky callback to classrooms and
it livens up an otherwise ordinary space.
The custom tables in the kitchen with integrated lighting
and linoleum tops are a callback to libraries and study spaces. Elements of
nostalgia make the entire space feel cozy – a perfect spot for Neighbors to
relax or enjoy a dinner together. Or study!
The mosaic tile piece at the entrance to the leasing
office is reminiscent of old New York apartment entryways – particularly the
Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Choosing this felt like a natural choice given the
New York inspiration in the architecture of the building.
Are there any
unique aspects that stick out in your mind?
MF: One of the
most special parts of the design is how we did the styling and accessories.
Each area has a different subject. For example, the television hutch and
entertainment area is focused on chemistry. The coffee table is centered on
biology. The shelving units feature nods to a reference library and the kitchen
pays homage to the arts. It was important to us that nothing is really obvious,