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Half Moon Village

Herman Coliver Locus Architecture


156,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost

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Project Description


In an age when there is a predictable sameness to multi-family residential design, Half Moon Village, begged for a highly particular, nuanced solution, informed by a unique and complex set of economic, social, and physical conditions.

Half Moon Bay, a small coastal agricultural town, and its residents have a particular character that is simultaneously “laid back” and “hardworking”. Locals are largely blue-color and farmworkers. However, on week-ends, the town is flooded with well-heeled tourists. The economic disparity is palpable. This project had the potential to bridge the divide.

As a development which required the relocation of existing, long-time, low-income, (often) immigrant, non-English-speaking seniors from one portion of the site to another, the design process began with active community involvement. Initial meetings invited residents living in dilapidated (yet beloved) cottages to share their hopes for improved albeit far denser housing.

Residents were so deeply rooted in this unique place and their place in it that relocation seemed frightening, which led to resistance to change. They didn’t want to become anonymous, lost within a larger, more depersonalized “development”.

Their vociferously expressed concerns prompted numerous meetings amongst the design team, current residents and surrounding neighbors. After all involved had done a whole lot of listening, residents, particularly those who were older and frailer, felt encouraged to become more actively involved in determining their futures. What began as a fight became a transformative experience for us all.

A rigorously threaded array of buildings and pedestrian-friendly outdoor spaces support socialization and active living for low-income seniors. Indoor and outdoor gathering spaces for small, medium, and large groups to dine, play, exercise, cultivate and hang out, foster wellness & well-being. 160 affordable apartments provide a comfortable and dignified home for iconoclastic renters to age in place. Camaraderie and solitude, peace and quiet, dramatic views, and inglenooks are all sensitively accommodated.
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