The Habitat 15 by Los Angeles-based Predock Frane architects is a four story apartment building which features the rhythmic openings on the elevation.
The project is deceptively simple – the rectangular exterior forms reveal an interior of multi-story interlocking and spatially dynamic volumes.
Predock Frane architects
+ Project description courtesy of Predock Frane Architects
The Habitat 15 project is a four story, 15 unit infill housing project at the foot of the Hollywood Hills’ 1/2 block West of La Brea, and North of Fountain Avenue. Each unit is between 1200 and 2000 square feet. The project is divided into two separate building’s West and East, with a central courtyard acting as both a buffer and connection between them.
A subterranean parking “pedestal” maximizes the lot area, and accommodates the required number of parking spaces. The ground floor level, which is accessed through the central courtyard, consists of five units that take advantage of their “at grade” position by opening onto their adjacent outdoor spaces, each also has a partial second floor with bedroom. The remaining ten units are configured vertically like townhouses. The entries to these units are accessed from the third floor via stairs and an elevator along the edge of the courtyard. Once inside, the units are organized with main spaces such as living and dining on the third level and bedrooms either downstairs on the second level or up a flight of stairs to the fourth level. All the units are designed to be light and airy with double height ceilings and skylights over the living and dining areas.
The west building’s living spaces look out towards Detroit Street and the Hollywood Hills. For the East building’s living spaces, the courtyard acts as a kind of visual ‘sky yard’ with a green “wall” of landscape covering a forest of long bamboo poles. This visual barrier also allows the entries into the West building to feel private and discreet.
The design process was a highly interactive negotiation between the architect and client. After several explorations we arrived at the maximum unit count composed of a ground level “base” of loft-like units, 11 foot plus ceilings, and three story townhouse-like units above. Essential in the process was a constant awareness of fundamental issues such as acoustical separation, lateral strength, and clear interior organization. From this simple diagram, the project is invigorated with lofty sectional volumes and a rich central/social space via the green wall and ‘sky yards’.
Since Habitat has developed a “manual” of key details and product resources, we were able to work within a clear set of parameters that helped guide decisions such as window type/size, exterior finish criteria, and essential unit amenities.
Resources were consequently amplified and focused on the unit interiors and the Detroit Street fae. The project is deceptively simple – the rectangular exterior forms reveal an interior of multi-story interlocking and spatially dynamic volumes.
+ Project credits / data
Architect: Predock Frane architects
Project: The Habitat 15
Locaiton: Los Angeles, CA
Size: 39,000 sf
Location: Los Angeles, CA