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A Home by the Highway


Los Angeles
Project: New Carver Apartments
Architects: Michael Maltzan Architecture
Date: 2009

When Michael Maltzan set about imagining this building next to the Santa Monica Freeway for formerly homeless residents, there were, he says, a lot of considerations for the design, as it is on an odd-shaped site with the highway being the defining factor. Minimizing noise and pollution was keyand achieved in part through the placement of the windows. But also I feel it is important for affordable housing to declare itself in the community, both for the neighborhood and for the residents who take pride in living in a space that has been thought out for their needs. The 97-unit facility includes kitchens, gardens, and medical services. Maltzan, who’s built his share of private homes, has a real track record with affordable design, beginning with his first solo commission: an arts center for kids in L.A.’s Skid Row. His next affordable-housing project, the Star Apartments, is set to begin construction soon.

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