The 67 unit mixed-use apartment is located between Santa Monica Boulevard and Broadway on the east side of Fifth Street in downtown Santa Monica. The design took a completely unique approach to the city’s planning and zoning code. The city was calling for a set back above the third floor, providing no benefit to pedestrians. In calculating the required step back, we determined it to be an amount of 212,00 cubic feet. We redistributed the 212,00 cubic feet by pushing back the entrance at the ground floor and punching a large hole in the building façade.
The street front facade is designed around this large aperture in the building facade. The ground floor commercial space is designed with floor to ceiling glass to maximize pedestrian visibility and it sets back from the sidewalk to create a pedestrian plaza not found in the downtown core. Due to its south-west orientation, the building’s main facade required an intelligent, energy efficient sun shading system while providing a comfortable amount of natural light and privacy for the residential units. The design incorporates a movable panel system, allowing each tenant to regulate the amount of light to filter into their space. The permeable facade provides natural light and ventilation to the residential core. The building establishes an eloquent and dynamic pedestrian interaction that further activates the urban life of the area. The total cost is estimated to be around 13 million dollars, approximately 250 dollars per square foot.