Pico Housing is a recent project by Moore Ruble Yudell Architects that offers 100 percent affordable housing in Santa Monica, California. The colorful and sustainable development is community oriented with mixed-use offerings not only contributing to the lives of the residents, but also neighbors and the surrounding city. Sustainable strategies like natural ventilation and daylighting along with rainwater harvesting improve upon the lives of the residents and minimize utility costs to boot.
The nonprofit organization Community Corporation of Santa Monica contracted Moore Ruble Yudell to design an affordable housing project. Located on the corner of 28th and Pico Streets, Pico Housing offers 33 affordable housing units along with a community center, a retail space, laundry facilities, and even a children’s play area. Moore Ruble Yudell worked hard to design the project around existing building set backs and requirements to create a varied and interesting development. Close to the street and pedestrian-friendly, Pico Housing adds to the fabric of the surrounding urban environment with its colorful details and respectful size and facade.
The project achieves a high level of sustainability, although it does not have any official green building awards as the developer felt the cost for certification was too high. The stepped volumes were designed to allow for natural lighting inside each apartment and the central courtyard helps bring in fresh breezes for natural cooling. Rainwater is collected on the roof and used within the compound, while black water is treated onsite. Cement board siding and other simple materials minimize maintenance and extend the longevity of the project.
Images ©John Linden