rosa gardens, palm springs, calif.
brooks + scarpa
los angeles

The judges appreciated the thoughtful site plan and sustainable character of this Palm Springs, Calif., affordable housing community. “It’s simple and not overdone,” said one juror. “It’s very appropriate for the context.”

Brooks + Scarpa divided the LEED Gold-certified project’s 57 dwellings into groupings of four to 13 units. Parking is relegated to the perimeter, so residents cross shared courtyards to reach their units. “Once you come inside the complex, it’s a little oasis,” says principal Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA. Portions of the courtyards are covered to provide relief from the hot desert sun, and deep overhangs supply additional shading and passive cooling.

View all 2012 RADA winners.

project credits

principal in charge: Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA, Brooks + Scarpa; project architect: Emily Hodgdon, AIA, Brooks + Scarpa; developer: Brian Peulicke, Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, Indio, Calif.; general contractor: Liz McCapes, Brown Construction, West Sacramento, Calif.; landscape architect: Keith VanDerSys, PEG office of landscape + architecture, Philadelphia; civil engineer: Steve Cummins, DCA Civil Engineering Group, Torrance, Calif.; structural engineer: Brian Cochran, Weidlinger Associates, Marina del Rey, Calif.; project size: 699 square feet to 1,538 square feet per unit; site size: 4.5 acres; construction cost: $134 per square foot; rental price: $386 to $858 per month; units in project: 57; photography: John Edward Linden.

product details

bathroom/kitchen cabinets: Armstrong,; bathroom/kitchen fittings: Cleveland Faucet Group (Moen),; bathroom fixtures: Falcon, LASCO,, Vortens,; cooktop/dishwasher: Kenmore,; exterior siding: AEP Span,, James Hardie,; flooring: Shaw (carpet),, Daltile (tile),, Forbo (vinyl),; garbage disposal/range/refrigerator: Kenmore,, InSinkErator,; hvac equipment: Carrier,; insulation: Johns Manville,; kitchen fixtures: Elkay,; paints/stains/wall finishes: Sherwin-Williams,; roofing: Georgia-Pacific DensDeck,; skylights: Bristolite,; water heater: Eemax,, Rinnai,; windows: Andersen,