Hancock Lofts

Hancock Lofts façade with Mangaris wood shutters.

Located along Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, Hancock Lofts conforms to the local planning department's desire to increase urban density. The mixed-income, multiunit housing project incorporates public parking and ground-floor retail. Sliding Mangaris wood shutters can shield residents from the busy thoroughfare.

The entrance to the public parking lot, which houses the 156 city-mandated parking spaces, is tucked beside the main entrance. These two access points—vehicular and pedestrian—are located on Hancock Avenue, at the point where the wood shutter-clad two bedroom units give way to the more residentially scaled townhouses and affordable housing apartments.

Section Perspective

A small pool on the roof of the Hancock Lofts parking garage is perhaps the project's object lesson in density as a social force. Equipped with a cabana area, a fireplace, lounges for sunbathing, and a lovely view, it is an amenity available to the owners of the million-dollar condos and townhouses and to the monthly renters of the affordable housing units.

Each of the two-bedroom units along Santa Monica Boulevard is equipped with a sliding wood screen that moves along the balcony rail. The screen can be used to modulate the amount of direct sunlight reaching the living area, or to create an enclosed outdoor space, sheltering the deck from the busy thoroughfare. Flexible interior spaces can be programmed multiple ways, depending on the needs of the owner. "We were thinking about how people cohabit and thinking through different lifestyle scenarios," explains principal Julie Eizenberg. "You could use [the space] as a living room or as a live/work office. There is no right way."

The six two-story townhouses on the Hancock Avenue side of the building have an outdoor terrace shielded from the street by vertical wood slats that also hide the level of resident parking below. An operable glass garage door opens the living area onto terrace, creating an indoor-outdoor environment that works well in the temperate Southern California climate.

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