Los Angeles, CA


bahia meadows

A competition entry for low cost, sustainable senior housing in California - Bahia Meadows is a suburban infill project of 29 accessible dwellings and a range of community facilities focused on habitat preservation, agriculture, and local commerce.

New buildings are proposed only on existing graded pads, leaving extensive areas of the site dedicated to agriculture and open space, encouraging coexistence with wildlife.  Agricultural uses are planned at the level of the individual and the community, encouraging a neighborhood identity that's based on a sustained balance between the beneficial use and preservation of nature.Inspired by the turf-roofed structures of the Coast Miwok, each dwelling has a grass roof hosting native meadow plants, promoting biodiversity and replacing the ground displaced by the housing.  Entering the community from Bahia Drive, the roofscape of solar panels and meadow-covered roofs presents a new terrain.  Dwellings placed side by side in groups of up to three are informally staggered as they terrace down the slopes.  Patios and decks are located at the east and west end of each home, taking advantage of the expansive views, and promoting social interaction between residents next door.  Drought tolerant native oak trees and bunch grasses are planned for the spaces around the houses; restoring habitat while reducing maintenance and water use.  Raised planting beds allow residents to maintain small kitchen gardens. The main street intersection is planned as a neighborhood public space, linking Bahia to Novato, activated by the traffic in and out of the community.  A mix of services converge at this node: a General Store with local produce and light food service, a pharmacy/part-time nurse, an outdoor gathering space, a demonstration garden, and a vineyard maintenance area.  Laundry and housecleaning services for senior residents are also based here, creating a small community hub where residents, visitors from adjacent neighborhoods, and hikers from the adjacent trail interact.  A new accessible walking trail through the natural and agricultural open space within Bahia also meets this junction.
The dwellings reduce energy consumption through their solar orientation, as well as their passive and active features.  Depending on the season, indoor air is pre-heated or pre-cooled via a heat recovery ventilator and a ground duct heat exchanger.  A roof-installed solar thermal collector heats domestic water and hydronic system.  Photovoltaic panels cover the parking areas, capable of generating well in excess of the dwellings' energy consumption.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Novato, CA, US