New Carver Apartments
As cars pass from east to west, the building’s facade transforms itself as its saw tooth facets open to view.
Just south of Los Angeles’ fast‐growing downtown and immediately adjacent to the I‐10 freeway, the New Carver Apartments explores how architecture can create new possibilities for its highly vulnerable, dramatically under‐served residents as well as for Los Angeles as a whole.
Viewed from the freeway and the street, the project’s faceted form articulates the scale of the individual units within, expressing the dynamic relationship between an urban fabric composed of individual lives, the texture of our collective experience, and the speed of the freeway.
At street level a series of lines trace the street inwards, defining primary circulation paths, organizing program spaces, and creating views deep into and across the block.
Confronted with a significant level of ambient noise from passing automobiles, the form creates a sound buffer by minimizing the building’s area directly opposite the freeway; smaller‐scale facets position unit windows perpendicular to the direction of sound, further shielding the units themselves.
The facade underscores the relationship between the building and the freeway, creating a subtle pattern of light and shadow further animated by the illumination of passing cars.
The architecture urges residents to connect with the urban context at multiple scales and from multiple vantage points throughout the building. The screened central courtyard connects vertically to the natural sky; a grand stair gestures down towards the urban fabric of the ground floor, drawing the courtyard space across the lobby and into the street.
At the top floor, a partially covered terrace creates dramatic views of the downtown skyline. Visual and perceptual connections to the local landscape abound at multiple scales, drawing out the rich texture of the social program and sitting it within the expansive perspective of the architecture.
The project’s 97 units provide permanent housing for formerly homeless elderly and disabled residents, a place for solace, support, and individual growth in the face of the city’s chronic homeless problem. By incorporating communal spaces – kitchens, dining areas, gathering spaces and gardens – into the Carver’s raised form, as well as medical and social service support facilities into the plinth beneath, the project encourages its residents to not only reconnect with each other but also with the world outside its doors.
|CITY||Los Angeles, California|