The Vanguard

The Vanguard

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Targeting students and young professionals, The Vanguard bridges historic downtown Boise and the newer Central Addition neighborhood with seventy-five units of market rate housing. Visum Development, based in Ithaca, New York, chose Holst to design their first foray into the Boise Market, this new eight-story building that shares a block with the Basque Cultural Center. A series of systematic design choices respond to the context of downtown historic buildings, neighborhood edges, and downtown circulation patterns.

Folded Planes

The shape of the concrete and wood-framed building results from a shifting of a portion of the max zoning envelope back on the site, creating vertical planes folded along its street frontages.

The Vanguard

Linked Color

Balconies highlighted with ochre-colored stucco link the protruding and receding edges and contrast the building’s dark brick facades. The color extends to the ground to identify the building’s main entrance on Sixth Avenue.

The Vanguard

Modern Appeal

Throughout the building’s public spaces, sealed concrete floors, plywood finishes, metal details, and abstract murals carry an industrial aesthetic throughout to appeal to the building’s target audience.

At the corner of the site, five-lane West Front Street begins to curve away from the building. The building’s geometry projects over the right-of-way along Front Street; café seating below takes advantage of the buffer from the busy road. Board-formed concrete planters create additional separation from the street.

The studio, one-, and two- bedroom units feature a neutral, modern palette of white, light wood, and concrete. The lobby serves a dual purpose as a study/workspace. Other amenities include plentiful bike parking, a ground floor pet spa, a community lounge, and a shared roof deck with fire pit and grill.


Visum Development


Boise, ID




55,869 sq. ft.
75 units