Rose Apartments

Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale based design firm Brooks + Scarpa has completed Rose Apartments. This new LEED Gold four-story 35-unit Rose mixed-use 100% affordable apartment structure for transitional aged youths. When kids turn 18 years old and are forced to leave a youth facility, most wind up living on the street because there is no place for them to go. Rose Apartments provides a home to this young adult who would otherwise be living on the street.

The building is located where no car is needed. The new building is situated directly across the street from Whole Foods, 7 Eleven, a laundromat, Lincoln Hardware and a host of other amenities and is just seven blocks from the beach, adjacent to the toney shops and restaurants on the eclectic Rose Avenue in Venice. Taking cues from the nearby Horatio Court, built in 1919 by Irving Gill, the building is designed around an elevated courtyard above ground level commercial space. The courtyard typology has existed in Los Angeles for more than a hundred years. It promotes pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods as an alternative to sprawl, creating usable space in the center of the project, instead of unused, leftover space outside of the building volume.

Rose Apartments builds on this southern California housing typology, but unlike those earlier traditional buildings, it is more idiosyncratic – creating increased security, privacy and openness, while connecting to the greater community outside the building walls. This much needed affordable housing provides poor and disadvantaged populations housing in an affluent area of town where low-wage workers are critical but unable to afford to live. It also contributes to much needed affordable housing stock in short supply in Los Angeles.

Like many of the traditional courtyard structures before, the main exterior material at Rose Apartments is commonly used exterior cement plaster. These walls also include surface applied sparkle grain that makes the facades shimmer as people pass by. Sunlight and bright lighting conditions make the façade go soft and silver in just a few seconds. It’s a quick-moving phenomenon that bends light and casts shadows depending on the time of day.
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Project: Rose Apartments
Studio: Brooks + Scarpa
Location: Venice, Los Angeles, USA
Year: 2021
Photo Credit: Jeff Durkin and Brooks + Scarpa