Proposed Design

Rendering of Euclid Street buidlings
Rendering of 14th Street buildings
Rendering of 16th Street building

Vision

The proposed development includes affordable and permanent supportive housing across the three sites with office space for staff, meeting spaces, open spaces and parking for residents. Providing residences for families, working individuals, and those who are transitioning from an unhoused status contributes to Santa Monica’s values of an inclusive, equitable and sustainable place to live and work.

HCHC proposes to construct affordable rental housing on three sites in Santa Monica near Wilshire Blvd: 1217 Euclid, 1211-1217 Fourteenth Street, and 1146 Sixteenth Street. The proposed development will create 130 apartments and most will be two and three bedroom apartments to accommodate large families. One apartment per site (e.g. a total of 3 apartments) will be reserved for on-site property management staff. The remaining 127 apartments will be income-restricted to households earning between 30% and 70% of area median income (AMI). Each site will include community spaces for residents, laundry and bicycle parking.

Building with Abundant Landscaping and Open Space

Site-Specific Sustainability

The proposed development aims to incorporate itself within the city’s existing fabric through deliberate choices in massing and material selections, while embodying Santa Monica’s values with a series of climate-specific and low-impact sustainability strategies. It does this by employing a series of strategies that we know work well in Santa Monica: shaded communal outdoor space, self-shading porches and habitable sunscreens, and natural daylight and ample ventilation throughout.

Street Level View of Buildings with Shared Landscape

Shared Landscaped Podium

The heart of each development is the Landscaped Podium: a lush, flexible, and generous outdoor space which gives residents a shared amenity space separate from the street. This environment offers both expansive open areas for play or recreation, as well as intimate seating spaces for reading or a coffee, and can be adapted to resident needs at each site. This communal outdoor space will feature drought-tolerant landscaping, shade trees, durable and child-friendly finishes, and organic seating spaces.

Aerial View of Buildings with Shared Landscape

Circulation As Amenity

In place of an unfriendly double-loaded corridor, we propose outdoor circulation as a shared amenity: a series of intimate outdoor rooms enclosed by a dynamic screening system. Within this structure, the living space of residential units extends to the exterior, giving each resident a ‘front porch’ that encourages interactions between neighbors. In borrowing outdoor space for reading nooks, homework spaces, playgrounds or picnic areas, the proposed development is reclaiming usable space in the most economical and least energy-intensive way possible.

Building with Outdoor Stairs and Walkways

Activating the Pedestrian Scale

One strategy for embracing our urban context is to activate the pedestrian scale of the proposed development. Each site features a largely unexcavated front setback, allowing for mature planting and landscape at the street edge. Site Plans have also been designed to include multiple points of entry, with a safe and welcoming access for pedestrians and cyclists alike. Exterior sun shades animate Southwest-facing façades, while planted Roof Decks enliven the street-adjacent buildings, contributing to a walkable and lively urban environment.

Rendering of Porous Urban Landscape and Buildings

Porous Urban Landscapes

The proposed development has been left intentionally porous- allowing for the neighborhood’s landscape to permeate the entire block and continue onto the planted podium levels.  We appreciate the interstitial landscapes throughout this neighborhood- gardens between homes and carriage houses, or internal courtyards from postwar multifamily buildings. The landscapes directly adjacent to both the Fourteenth Street and Sixteenth Street projects are particularly remarkable. By orienting our proposed developments as a series of narrow bars perpendicular to the street, we are embracing and supporting the continued care for these interstitial landscapes.

Wilshire Theater in 1969

Protecting Resources & Embracing Local History

Our design also embraces the existing resources on the site. For example, the Euclid Street development proposes zero setback against the Wilshire Theatre, a local landmark listed by the Santa Monica Conservancy. This allows the Fly Tower of the theater to create an interior courtyard for the proposed development, and thereby protects the historic building and ensures its future use.

Rendering of Energy Efficient Building

Energy Efficiency & Natural Ventilation

Given the limited opportunities for energy production on-site, our team’s primary energy reduction strategy is to reduce operational carbon through passive strategies like site orientation and natural ventilation. The narrow footprint allows for passive ventilation, while the orientation allows for many apertures to be passively shaded by neighboring buildings, with only a handful of openings at the short end of each bar, to the Southeast. At Southwest faces, an exterior sun shading system mitigates afternoon heat gain, while enlivening the street-facing façade. At the smaller site on Sixteenth Street, exterior circulation faces southeast, thereby shading each unit and allowing living spaces to enjoy ample natural daylight from the north, with uninhibited views of the Santa Monica Mountains.

The proposed development also looks to mitigate the Urban Heat Island effect by providing planted roof areas, heavily landscaped podiums above each garage, and minimizing parking footprint to support native and mature planting at-grade.

Gramercy Apartments Courtyard

Reducing Embodied Carbon

Our primary strategies for reducing embodied carbon are to minimize the extent of concrete construction and right-size unit plans to lessen the material intensity of overall construction. In right-sizing plans, and offering outdoor amenities, we have lessened the overall construction volume by trading larger units for additional communal, exterior space with a lower carbon footprint.

Bicycles

Supporting the Next Generation of Transit

The Development Team is committed to supporting the needs of existing Mid-City businesses and current residents while facilitating Santa Monica’s transition to a denser urban environment and a more multi-modal and low-impact transportation network. Heavily landscaped front setbacks and public-facing balconies further enliven an already walkable and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, encouraging local and car-free trips to Mid City’s cafes, groceries, and businesses.

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