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.
Related: Moore Ruble Yudell’s Net Zero Georgina Residence Blurs the Indoor Outdoor Boundary in Santa Monica
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
This project is totally out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood. The Sunset Park neighborhood has tried for years to make the street scape on Pivo Blvd more inviting to pedestrians. This project offered no practical retail space on the ground floor. The building is a "worst of" amalgam of recent Santa Monica housing designs. To make matters worse, the building is painted like a garish circus tent, which only helps to emphasis it's out of proportion scale to existing buildings. Please no more of these awful buildings in Santa Monica.