Located in West Los Angeles, the Howard and Irene Levine Senior Community is a mid-rise housing development for low-income seniors and homeless senior veterans. The apartments were designed by KFA Architecture for Mercy Housing of California.

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Birds eye view of the courtyard building. Various terraces and garden spaces can be seen and the roof features solar panels and other machinery

The project sits along Pico Boulevard and is well-knit into the neighborhood’s urban fabric. It is surrounded by cafes, clinics and markets, all of which are easily accessible for the residents.

Related: LEED gold LGBT senior complex provides homes to the homeless

Birds eye view down into the central courtyard on the third level. The courtyard features large concrete planters and various seating configurations

Furthermore, the 48 residential units comprise of studios and one-bedroom apartments, which consider accessibility and mobility needs of the elderly. Corridors that lead to the living spaces are open, thus allowing light and breezes to brighten and cool the interiors. Each apartment features an entry door recessed in an alcove, providing each unit with a sense of identity and hominess. The two lower floors serve as parking for nearby businesses and synagogue. Meanwhile, the top three floors encompass the residential and recreational spaces for the senior community.

Roof deck with bright planters and seating for residents. In the background, the city of LA is visible

Additionally, the building incorporates several terraces and courtyards to maximize spaces that would otherwise be underutilized. These spaces encourage various levels of interaction among the senior residents. On the third floor, residents have access to a large central courtyard. This courtyard faces the main street and features views of Hollywood Hills. Surrounding the courtyard are more shared spaces, including an exercise space, a community room and support and service offices run by New Directions for Veterans. On the higher levels, terraces create cozy nooks for smaller groups. This includes the roof deck, which has informal seating and large, brightly-colored planters that host the community garden.

Group of seniors seated in a courtyard with bright blue chairs and white tables. The courtyard is filled with planters, some fixed concrete ones as well as bright green plant pots

Alongside providing an environment to adaptable social needs, KFA has also incorporated sustainable strategies in the project. The housing complex features solar panels on the roof and uses greywater harvesting for irrigation.

Interior community space with people seated on bright furniture. The glazing on the left faces a courtyard

Therefore, through its extensive focus on environmental and social needs of residents, the project is currently aiming for a LEED Gold rating.

+ KFA Architecture

Photography by Jim Simmons and Jonathan Ramirez