This project provides 100% affordable housing at the corner of Pico Boulevard and 28th Street for the nonprofit organization Community Corporation of Santa Monica. This mixed-use project accommodates 33 units above retail and community space organized around an engaging courtyard. The project strives to contribute to the life of its residents, neighbors and the City, by providing a pedestrian-friendly urban façade to enliven the corner of Pico Boulevard and 28th Street.
An “Alice in Wonderland” courtyard was created on a busy corner property on Pico Blvd with giant flowerpots, Japanese maples — trees that provide abundant color — and bamboo. The courtyard optimizes social interaction and incorporates a playful array of bridges, walkways and stairs. Aligned with the entrance at Pico, a social hub is created at the heart of the courtyard surrounded by the community room, laundry, main stairs and elevator that surround a children’s play area. Along Pico privacy was created by planting three heights and layers of plants, including Pittosporum, Rosemary, and Phormium. In the small ground-floor lawn area, citrus, figs, aloe vera, and pomegranate were planted. On the rooftop terrace, the trees in the surrounding neighborhood become a borrowed landscape. Close collaboration with the city of Santa Monica established appropriate street trees. Throughout the complex, social spaces were created by specifying unusual and vibrant plant materials.