The Habitat 15 project is a four-story, 15-unit infill housing project at the foot of the Hollywood Hills—half a block west of La Brea, and north of Fountain Avenue. Each unit is between 1,200 and 2,000 square feet. The project is divided into two separate buildings—west and east—with a central courtyard acting as both a buffer and connection between them.
Design concept and solution:
The design process was a highly interactive negotiation between the architects and client. The client developed a short list of critical details and product resources for the project, and after several explorations the architects arrived at the maximum unit count composed of a ground level “base” of loft-like units, with 11-foot ceilings, and three-story townhouse-like units above. The project is deceptively simple—the rectangular exterior forms reveal an interior of multistory interlocking and spatially dynamic volumes. Beginning with a simple diagram designed around fundamental issues such as acoustical separation, lateral strength, and clear interior organization, the project is invigorated with overlapping sectional volumes and a multipurpose central/social space.
A subterranean parking podium maximizes the lot area, and accommodates the required number of parking spaces. The ground-floor level, which is accessed through the central courtyard, consists of five units that take advantage of their “at grade” position by opening onto adjacent private outdoor spaces. Each also has a second floor accommodating an additional bedroom. The remaining 10 units are configured vertically like townhouses. The entries to these units are accessed via stairs and an elevator to the third-floor walkway that connects the units. Once inside, the units are organized with main spaces such as living and dining on the third level and bedrooms either downstairs on the second level or up a flight of stairs to the fourth level. The units maximize the allowable vertical elevation with double-height ceilings and triple-height skylights over the living and dining areas. The west building’s living spaces look out towards Detroit Street and the Hollywood Hills as their front yard. The east building’s living spaces look into the courtyard, which acts as a visual “sky yard” through the use of a four-story green wall of landscape.
Total construction cost:
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
MEP: Debibi & Associates
Civil Engineering: Seaboard
Lighting: Luminesce Design
Metal doors: REPUBLIC
Wood doors: TM COBB
Sliding doors: TM COBB
Fire-control doors, security grilles: JAIME ORTIZ
Exit devices: NORTON
Security devices: TY COMMUNICATIONS
Floor and wall tile: EARTHSTONE –BATH
Task lighting: LIGHTOLIER