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Duplex + ADU + Office

Culver City, CA

AiA Los Angeles, Residential Architecture Award 2018

AiA California, Design Award 2019

Dezeen Awards Longlist [housing category] – Bluplex + Pomegrante 2022 

Bluplex embraces low-rise duplexes and courtyard apartments as the future of increasing the housing supply in Los Angeles.  This housing type can provide more diverse occupancies while maintaining the scale and character of its typical suburban context.  By intensifying the utility and flexibility, we enabled both environmental and financial sustainability, which subsequently translated into opportunity for architecture.   Large openings and glass are coveted for natural light, indoor-outdoor living, cross ventilation, etc., but they are expensive and typically out of reach on modest scale projects with limited resources.  Strategically, we took what could have been a medium sized single-family dwelling and split it into two units.  As such, the building and design would be supported by the income of two households, which then tenably allows for a larger array of architectural features.  These features are then organized and distributed equitably across the site and between the units to create private entries from large outdoor spaces and yards. The lower unit maintains the existing streetscape engagement with a fenced-in front yard, a covered porch and landscaping.  The upper unit is organized around a large deck covered by a stretch fabric awning across a steel trellis providing shade that passively cools a large portion of the building.  Finishes were chosen for their off-the-shelf cost effectiveness and resiliency to minimize future maintenance costs.  The largest available panel of fiber cement boards are laid over a rain screen and oriented (horizontal above and vertical below) and painted to maintain separate identity of the two units.  The decking is a wood composite and the metal railings, screens and steel trellis members are hot-dipped galvanized. The blue is a tongue-in-cheek tactic to blend the upper floor into the sky and is a cheerful addition to contrast from the typical drab suburban palette.   

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