Low Rise Housing LA
- Type Residential
- Completion 2021
- Client City of Los Angeles
In late 2020, the City of Los Angeles released the Low-Rise Housing Design Competition. The unifying theme of this challenge was the centrality of community amongst Los Angeles’s mosaic of over 100 neighborhoods. Any successful solution to LA’s regional housing problem must address the breadth of realities from global marketplace to local street corner.
kdA began by researching the missing middle, defined as the range of house-scale buildings with multiple units, compatible in scale and form with detached single-family homes, and located in a walkable neighborhood. Los Angeles has many walkable neighborhoods, but nearly half of the total housing stock in Los Angeles are single family homes. Low available stock and high prices keep this housing inaccessible to many Angelenos.
Our proposed solutions leverage the power of small-scale development on home ownership. Taking advantage of the existing street grid, our micro-towers preserve existing vegetations, provide opportunity for density, and allow new residents to inhabit a new missing middle: the tree canopy. Simultaneously minimizing surface area and creating the greatest possible availability to natural light and ventilation from all direction, these micro-towers push operation energy to a minimum. The chimney-like characteristics allow the buildings to be self-ventilated throughout the day, reducing the need for mechanical air conditioning during the most intensively inhabited periods of the day.
Their small footprints minimize disruption to the surrounding site, allowing more substantial planting and a more permeable surface environment which directly impacts the site’s micro-climate. Our solutions also acknowledge Angeleno’s expectation for informal outdoor gathering spaces. Unit placement provides space for comfortable outdoor terraces with a balance of privacy enabling simultaneous use of indoor-outdoor space.