The mixed-use affordable housing in West Hollywood addresses a severe housing shortage for residents living with disabilities. The 70,000-square-foot program responds to the city’s mandate to maximize units on site to increase density in the city’s urban core. On a 13,000-square-foot lot in a dense urban corridor, the building contains 42 one-bedroom units arranged around a central courtyard, near commercial and retail spaces, located along Santa Monica Boulevard. Parking is provided at the subterranean levels and at grade.


West Hollywood, CA


42 Units Mixed-Use



70,000 sq ft


Completed 2012


American Architecture Award

National AIA Award

California AIA Award

AIA LA Residential Architecture Award

HUD Secretary's Housing Award

WUF Westside Prize

LA Architectural Award

American Planning Association Award

SEAOSC, Excellence in Structural Eng. Award

NAHRO Merit Award

Interior Design Best of Year Award


West Hollywood Community Housing


City of West Hollywood

IBE, Environmental Engineers

Gilsanz Murry Steficek, Structural

Each apartment has a private front porch overlooking the courtyard garden, facilitating social interaction among the residents and offering a respite from the boulevard. Additional communal spaces are provided for the residents and for public use. A steel brace frame carves out the interior void for the courtyard to satisfy requirements for outdoor space allotment. The design of the eccentric brace frame core is essential to the project and seen as a five-story 
lattice in the courtyard. The geometry of the frame is used as a pattern for the north and south facades of the building. The structure demonstrates one of the city’s values of environmental responsibility and its commitment to green building and sustainable design, serving as a pilot project for the Green Building Ordinance, as well.

Passive solar design strategies include:  a north-south orientation for the units, positioning the building to control solar cooling loads, orienting the building for exposure to prevailing winds, designing windows to maximize daylight, minimizing west-facing glazing, and designing units to maximize natural ventilation. Photovoltaic panels integrated into the facade and roof supply most of the peak-load electricity demand, while serving as a trellis for shading the rooftop decks. A solar hydronic system provides residents with free hot water. The bamboo forest in the inner courtyard creates a cooling microclimate.

© Tighe Architecture 2020

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