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The Six Affordable Veteran Housing

Brooks + Scarpa

Shared By

katie_gerfen, Hanley Wood


Project Name

The Six Affordable Veteran Housing

Project Status

Built

Size

18,390 sq. feet

Construction Cost

$10,100,000


ARCHITECT





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2017 AIA Institute Honor Award Winner in Architecture

The Six, a new affordable housing project in Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park neighborhood, is, at first glance, a bit of a formal puzzle. As seen from the east, with its giant opening into a courtyard, the newest building for the Skid Row Housing Trust looks like a big white Möbius strip, a beguiling sequence of balconies, stairways, and overlooks. Yet all this aesthetic complexity serves a very important purpose: The building’s 52 below-market-rate apartments are reserved for disabled veterans, and the scheme, from local architects Brooks + Scarpa, is in fact a carefully crafted system for fostering a sense of community.

Connecting the apartments to one another, to the open landscaped areas (including a rooftop vegetable garden), and to a host of shared amenities like bike storage and meeting rooms, the building’s involved circulation patterns and irregular envelope encourage residents to interact with one another and with their environment, with the intent of fostering the kind of supportive culture too often absent from the veteran-care experience. With eco-sensitive features like low-flow water fixtures and passive ventilation, the architects have gone a step further in making the building a community asset. The area around MacArthur Park has historically been one of Los Angeles’ poorest and most crowded, with a high concentration of homeless. Rather than add one more social problem spot to an already ailing area, the Six helps veterans get off the street, while adding a striking presence to the neighborhood.

Project Credits
Project: The Six Affordable Veteran Housing, Los Angeles
Client: Skid Row Housing Trust
Architect: Brooks + Scarpa, Los Angeles
Structural Engineer: John Martin & Associates
M/E/P Engineer: Innovative Engineering Group
Civil Engineer: Barbara L. Hall
Specifications: Phil Easton
General Contractor: Golden Bear Construction
Landscape Architect: Brooks + Scarpa; LandStudio 360
Size: 18,390 square feet (gross conditioned floor area)
Cost: $10.1 million (construction, excluding furnishing)

To see the rest of ARCHITECT's coverage of the 2017 AIA Institute Honor Awards, click here.

Project Description

This project is a winner in the 2017 AIA Housing Awards in the Specialized Housing category.

FROM THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS

The SIX is a LEED Platinum 52-unit affordable housing project provides a home, support services and rehabilitation for previously homeless and/or disabled veterans. It is located in the MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles. McArthur Park has one of the highest densities in the USA with over 38,000 people per square mile. Offering shelter and comfort, The SIX breaks the prescriptive mold of the traditional shelter by creating public and private "zones" in which private space is deemphasized, in favor of large public areas. The organization of the space is intended to transform the way people live-away from a reclusive, isolating layout towards a community-oriented, interactive space. The project distinguishes itself from most conventionally developed projects in that it incorporates energy efficient measures that exceed standard practice, optimize building performance, and ensure reduced energy use during all phases of construction and occupancy.


FROM THE ARCHITECTS:

The SIX is a 57-unit affordable housing project provides a home, support services and rehabilitation for disabled veterans. It is located in the MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles. McArthur Park has one of the highest densities in the USA with over 38,000 people per square mile and a total population of 120,000 people in 2.72 square miles. Offering shelter and comfort, the SIX breaks the prescriptive mold of the traditional shelter by creating public and private "zones" in which private space is deemphasized, in favor of large public areas. The organization of the space is intended to transform the way people live-away from a reclusive, isolating layout towards a community-oriented, interactive space. The ground level contains offices, support spaces for the veterans, bike storage and parking while the second level has a large public courtyard. Surrounded by four levels of housing units with balconies wrapped with a wood screen made from recycle planking the courtyard has large openings with green roofs that visually connects the space to the street on the lower level beyond. This allows the tenants to enjoy a secured open space while still connecting to the larger community. The uppermost level has a green roof, large public patio and edible garden with panoramic views of the area. The SIX distinguishes itself from most conventionally developed projects in that it incorporates energy efficient measures that exceed standard practice, optimize building performance, and ensure reduced energy use during all phases of construction and occupancy. The planning and design of Step Up on 5th emerged from close consideration and employment of passive design strategies. These strategies include: locating and orienting the building to control solar cooling loads; shaping and orienting the building for exposure to prevailing winds; shaping the building to induce buoyancy for natural ventilation; designing windows to maximize day lighting; shading south facing windows and minimizing west-facing glazing; designing windows to maximize natural ventilation; utilizing low flow fixtures and storm water management; shaping and planning the interior to enhance daylight and natural air flow distribution. These passive strategies alone make this building 50% more efficient than a conventionally designed structure.
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