Sustainability is an important component of the 32-unit affordable apartment building designed by Brooks + Scarpa Architects in Santa Monica, shading, natural light and ventilation, along with proper building orientation.
Pico Place is a 32-unit affordable apartment building consisting of 2 and 3-bed- room family units with a common laundry room, community room and subterranean parking.
The project provides a connection between the tall Sheraton hotel to the east and the beach to the west by placing the building volume on each side of the property and opening up the project’s center to create an enclosed, residential interior courtyard.
Strips of fabric floating above the courtyard offer a variation in material and a sense of place while shading the courtyard and providing privacy from the hotel overlooking the building.
By placing a one-story community room along Pico Blvd., and creating a ‘frame’ that unifies the project, the interior courtyard can be seen from the street, while also remaining semi-private. This allows courtyard activity to spill out to, and provides a pedestrian connection with Pico Blvd., protecting the residential properties across the alley from the courtyard noise and activity.
Sustainability is an important component of the design; shading, natural light and ventilation, along with proper building orientation to induce buoyancy and natural breezes. A small green roof is positioned to take advantage of, and contribute to the pedestrian nature of the street. The building exceeds California Title 24 requirements by more than 25%.
The major exterior material consists of recycled cement board siding in different colors and textures, creating an elegant façade that is contextual and varied, and which complements the surrounding buildings and uses. The parking is accessed from the rear alley, and drought tolerant/native landscaping provides a rich living environment for the people that will live here and provide a transition from the busy commercial area immediately to the west, to the residential district to the south and east.
430 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, California, 90405
Architects: Brooks + Scarpa (formerly Pugh + Scarpa)
Client/Owner: Community Corporation of Santa Monica
Total Square Meters: 3,553 sqm
Total Cost: $10.5 million
Project Team: Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA – Lead Designer, Angela Brooks, AIA, LEED AP – Principal-in-Charge, Emily Hodgdon – Project Architect, Mark Buckland, Ching Luk, Silke Clemens, Brad Buter – Project Design Team
Landscape: PEG Office of Landscape + Architecture
Engineering: Weidlinger Associates – Structural Engineering E2DI – Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Barbara Hall – Civil Engineering IRC – Roofing
Photography: John Linden