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Pico Place

Brooks+ Scarpa


Community Corporation of Santa Monica

Project Status


Year Completed



38,250 sq. feet

Certifications and Designations

Project Description

Pico Place is a 32-unit LEED Platinum affordable apartment building consisting of 2 and 3-bedroom family units with a common laundry room, community room and subterranean parking.

The project provides a connection between the tall Sheraton hotel to the east and the beach to the west by placing the building volume on each side of the property and opening up the project’s center to create an enclosed, residential interior courtyard.

Strips of fabric floating above the courtyard offer a variation in material and a sense of place while shading the courtyard and providing privacy from the hotel overlooking the building. By placing a one-story community room along Pico Blvd., and creating a ‘frame’ that unifies the project, the interior courtyard can be seen from the street, while also remaining semi-private. This allows courtyard activity to spill out to, and provides a pedestrian connection with Pico Blvd., protecting the residential properties across the alley from the courtyard noise and activity.

Sustainability is an important component of the design; shading, natural light and ventilation along with proper building orientation have been incorporated into the design.

Pedestrian-oriented design will be incorporated into the façade of the building along Pico and the community room, and a small green roof is positioned to take advantage of and contribute to the pedestrian nature of the street.

The major exterior material is siding in different colors and textures, creating an elegant façade that is contextual and varied and complements the surrounding buildings and uses. The parking is accessed from the rear alley, and drought tolerant/native landscaping will be used to provide a rich living environment for the people that will live here and provide a transition from the busy commercial area immediately to the west, to the residential district to the south and east.
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