For Elizabeth Moule and Stefanos Polyzoides, transit-oriented development is more than just a line of work in their architecture practice: It's a mindset and philosophy.
Moule and Polyzoides are the co-founders of their eponymous Pasadena firm, which has shaped ideas about urban living and transportation in Southern California.
While the architects are known for Pasadena's Del Mar Station and Mission Meridian Village in South Pasadena, it could be their work helping rewrite dozens of planning documents for Southern California cities that could have a deeper impact.
"On the planning side, five to eight years ago, we thought about how we (could) persuade people so they can use our work to turn their sprawl-ravaged towns into the way they should be," said the 63-year-old Polyzoides.
The company, founded in 1990, has assisted on nearly 30 specific plans, which create development guidelines for neighborhoods, as well as more broader citywide general plans. Locally, it is working on a specific plan in East Los Angeles.
"That's really about casting the form of city-making that will occur between the next 10 to 15 years," said Moule, 48.
Still, the firm is probably best known for the design of noteworthy transit-oriented projects. The duo is widely lauded for its design of Del Mar Station, a large mixed-use project that is integrated with a Metro Gold Line stop in Pasadena.
"I think they have a real passion for architecture and that's exhibited in the projects they work on and design," said Linda Dishman, executive director of Los Angeles Conservancy. "They are very focused on sustainable development, which includes transit-oriented development. I think they've been strong leaders in the smart growth movement."
In 1990, the couple was among a small group of co-founders that established the Congress for the New Urbanism, a non-profit organization promoting neighborhood development. The group has nearly 4,000 members.
Polyzoides said that he and his wife are particularly interested in transit- oriented development because it is relevant in their own backyard Los Angeles, a city often defined by transportation problems.
"It is a battle we began 20 years ago almost as evangelists," he said. "And it has so caught people's attention that we are being called right and left to help people."
Moule & Polyzoides
Principals: Elizabeth Moule and Stefanos Polyzoides
Key Projects: Del Mar Station, Pasadena; Mission Meridian Village, South Pasadena
Noteworthy: The husband and wife team met while studying architecture at Princeton University.
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