From the AIA:
The design challenge of this project—the first all-affordable mixed-use development in West Hollywood and the first designed and completed according to the city’s new Green Building Ordinance—was to fit the desired 42 accessible units on a 13,000-square-foot site and within a 50-foot height limit. The design used minimal exterior setbacks and reversed the typical unit layout—locating the bedrooms along the interior building courtyard and the living areas on the street side—to capitalize on views and natural light.
The project also tested the cost effectiveness of photovoltaic systems, a rooftop solar hot water system, drought-tolerant landscaping, a computer-controlled irrigation system, environmentally friendly building materials, and Energy Star appliances. Passive solar strategies generate power for all of the building’s common areas, and a second system of rooftop solar panels provides hot water for the entire building. The east-west building orientation and north- and south-facing windows maximize daylight and minimize solar gain.
Individuals with disabilities, many of whom are house bound, participated in the development of this fully accessible, pet-friendly home for low-income residents. They asked for outdoor spaces and pleasant views from their living rooms. The building features extensive individual and shared outdoor spaces landscaped with fragrant flowering plants and ornamental grasses, all of which are low maintenance and drought resistant. Green walls of deciduous vines adjoin the photovoltaic panels and help buffer the traffic noise and dust from Santa Monica Boulevard. Two roof decks on the fifth floor provide additional outdoor space with spectacular views. Although the building is air conditioned, units can often be cooled with ocean breezes passing through the large windows. Nonprofit organizations that provide community services for residents occupy 3,000 square feet of street-level space.