Kevin Daly Architects

Kevin Daly Architects

Los Angeles, CA | New York, NY


Tahiti Affordable Housing

High density, low-rise workforce housing in Los Angeles is pulled by two dissimilar models. The first is the ubiquitous type of Southern California low-cost rental housing, the dingbat apartment, characterized by surface parking facing the street, exterior circulation and a single, thematic ornament. The second is a broader notion of workforce housing, informed by the siedlung tradition of post-war European housing, guided by geometric regularity, access to natural light and ventilation, and privacy at the level of the individual unit.

The Tahiti Affordable Housing complex, which replaces a deteriorated dingbat complex, provides critically needed housing for low income families in Santa Monica and incorporates important elements from both traditions. The complex balances privacy with community building via a geometric regularity that has been innovatively extruded to grant each unit access to natural light and ventilation.

Designed to exceed LEED standards, the site is organized so that all storm water is directed to a central water retention and recharge basin. Over this reservoir lies a timber bamboo forest crisscrossed by bridges at two levels. The cool microclimate established by this bamboo grove improves natural ventilation in the units and enhances the ecology and natural environment by reclaiming site area that was formerly asphalt paving. Designed to facilitate extremely low energy use, each unit has access to daylight on three sides, allowing natural light to fill the units throughout the day.

The project was initiated by the Community Corporation of Santa Monica, a locally based, non-profit organization committed to developing and managing affordable housing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

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Status: Built
Location: Santa Monica, CA