Broken Quadplex

2,700 SF

Los Angeles, California



Low Rise Housing Competition

Around the time that we registered for this competition, we were approached by a property owner looking to tear down a duplex and build a new quadplex somewhere on Blackburn Avenue in the Beverly Grove Neighborhood (90048). The owner wanted us to design a 5,000 SF quadplex on a 50’ x ~112’ lot, significantly smaller that the hypothetical lot of the competition. Prior to starting the competition's design, the property owner asked us what we would do.

Imagine, a single building quadplex composed of (4) two bedroom units suddenly broken apart into (6) separate one bedroom units while only using half of the square footage. Due to the smaller square footage and footprint, these units can be arranged in a manner where each unit has a outdoor space (with their own tree) directly connected to the interior, creating a seamless indoor-outdoor experience that increases the livable square footage and makes the unit of 450 square feet seem and feel larger. This arrangement is reminiscent of the beloved Bungalow Courts but with a contemporary design that pays homage to the simple barn structures of Hollywood's antique farmland with bucolic landscapes.

Imagine, a Building that uses Carbon Negative building materials to offset carbon, producing materials that cannot be avoided. A building with Solar Tiles, not panels, that don’t create an eyesore in the neighborhood fabric. A building that collects water for irrigation and that uses passive solar design strategies for cooling. This imagined vision is what we’ve attempted to create in our proposal.

When we analyzed the typical quadplex in the Beverly Grove Neighborhood, the units felt cramped, lacked outdoor space, and the complex itself provides little sense of community. These quadplexes are often occupied by Millennials in roommate situations, which is not ideal and can still be very expensive. Roommates often share the units without knowing each other and are reclusive to their respected bedrooms. If a roommate leaves, the other roommate is on the hook for the rent, in turn moving out and leaving landlords with empty units and in turn are unwilling to rent to Millennials looking to make it on their own in Los Angeles. In addition, developers in the community are interested in creating projects with more square footage to maximize their profit potential, pricing Millennials out and ruining the neighborhood's character.

We chose to break apart the quadplex into 6 smaller, individual buildings in order to provide an affordable solution while being able to maximize the use of the outdoor space and complement the existing neighborhood's character. Please note, that although you could combine two of our proposed units into one 1,000 SF unit to meet one of the requirements of the brief, we omitted the 1,000 SF unit as we are attempting to create a space that promotes independence of a roommate and use less square footage. In addition we added 2 Units for a total of 6 units to make the project profitable for developers. We also provided uncovered parking at the ratio of .75 versus the current 1.0 for uncovered parking spaces for units of < 2 habitable rooms, to minimize the development added visual massing into the neighborhood.

Our proposal optimizes human health and achieves neutral to zero carbon rating through the use of:

• Our Project Roofs are equipped with Tesla Solar Tiles, contributing back to the grid.

• Our Project Features reSAWN Timber's Adobo, a non-toxic, reclaimed, and sustainably sourced wood resulting in a carbon negative footprint, balancing out the carbon positive materials.

• Our Parking Area provides EV chargers, allowing the landlord to give priority to non-car-owning tenants.

• Our strategically placed, drought tolerant, Olive Trees create a soft curtain of natural shade.

• Our use of Rain Barrels for the collection and recycling of water for irrigation.

• Our outdoor, communal pathway which acts as a connection to nature and to each other.

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