CityHoodHome is our entry in the city’s “Small Lots, Smart Design” competition, sponsored jointly by the L.A. City Planning Department and the Enterprise Foundation. The purpose of the competition is to explore innovative and affordable new urban housing solutions, to create a template for lots throughout the city’s under-served communities.

Our entry met these requirements and more by resolving a complex set of physical, economic and code-related imperatives, while creating a design that offers an uplifting, poetic series of experiences.

Working from a long-held interest in how people actually inhabit and relate to structures over time, we designed the six-unit complex to operate on three distinct scales of experience, traveling with the resident from the broader CITY, to the neighborHOOD, to the HOME itself. Once Home, however, the journey begins anew. In each unit’s family room on the top floor, the inner heart of the structure, a large patio opens back out onto a sweeping view of the city.

By devising an efficient structural system to be used together with common construction techniques and materials, projected construction costs for this project met the budget of $125 per square foot. In addition, the project makes use of sustainable and eco-friendly building materials and affords flexibility to easily accommodate a diversity of family arrangements.

This project was featured in “Ways and Means” by Lenora Chu, Dwell 1. 2007 and inĀ Growing Urban Habitats: Seeking a New Housing Development Model by William R. Morrish in 2009.