The ten unit building, at a density of 30 units/acre, is wedged between an upslope single-unit residential neighborhood and anticipated high-density mixed-use development on iconic Lincoln Boulevard below.
The approach draws on the courtyard typologies of the 30s and 40s offering a contemporary exemplar of housing that is in short supply in urban regions like Los Angeles.
Residential neighbors were vocal about development on this yet unbuilt lot. That anxiety was the impetus to see how maximum density could economically be achieved with massing that continued the detached house grain and a configuration that offered an indoor/outdoor lifestyle.
A two story-high retaining wall holds three sides of the site, framing a hillside terrace supported by the parking garage below. The garage is camouflaged by two accessible units (with small private gardens), a strategy that precluded the need for an elevator. Dollars saved more than offset the added cost of splitting the building into four house sized blocks.
The sequence of outdoor spaces adds to the perception of extended open space on a tight site. Metal grates shade glass and add ornament while conventional sliding glass doors, upgraded with framed insect screens, are distinctively customized at minimal outlay.
Townhouses are configured to provide a strong indoor/outdoor connection turning required sideyards into contributing and attractive courtyards.
Santa Monica, California
10 Units (1 Affordable)
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
2019 Westside Urban Forum Merit Design Award: Multi-Family Housing