Project Description2010 RADA
Multifamily / Grand
With this West Hollywood, Calif., multifamily project, Lorcan O’Herlihy, FAIA, turns the concept of courtyard housing on its head—or, rather, on its side. He and developer Richard Loring opted to pull the building's outdoor space to one side of the lot, rather than leaving it in the middle as conventional courtyard projects do. They then worked out a deal with the city to turn this slice of land into a public park, accessible by both the residents and the larger community. "It’s a public pocket park on private land," O’Herlihy says.
The stacked, two-story units all overlook the 4,600-square-foot park, and each one benefits from generous cross-ventilation. The structure's corrugated, perforated metal skin mediates the dynamic, layered façade; according to O’Herlihy, its bright red color was inspired by the exterior hue of an iconic restaurant down the block. One judge expressed a desire to live in the 11-unit building himself. "It's young, hip, and fun," said another juror. "It's more than the sum of its parts."
O'Herlihy hopes his unorthodox public-private space strategy will be adopted on a larger scale. "There’s no reason this couldn’t continue," he says. "It could be like a genetic code for offering public spaces. There could be a network of parks across L.A."