Beverlywood Development

Client: Withheld at the request of owner

Program: 10 units

Size: 12,700 sqft

Budget: Withheld at the request of owner

Completion Date: 2020

Built: Under development

Material: Steel, Glass, Concrete

Architect: Herwig Baumgartner, Scott Uriu

Team: Garrett Sutherlin Santo, Ke Li, Yi Ning Lui, Yiting Hsieh, Yifan Zhang, Sarangan Sinnarajah

Consultant: Nous Engineering (Structural Engineer)

Competition: No

Beverlywood Development
For over a century, the model for Los Angeles housing has been one based on the California lifestyle; individual single-family residences, indoor-outdoor living, material innovations and contemporary architecture. As the city densifies and its public transportation network expands, the way we live in Los Angeles has been changing. The demand for housing (especially affordable housing) has exploded as part of this densification. Architects, developers and city planners are now required to rethink the feasibility of the single-family house now that it has become significantly less affordable. How do we transform the Southern California indoor-outdoor living model from a horizontal into a vertical one and is that even feasible? While single-family homes have been a career starter for many LA Architects and a wellspring for architectural innovation and individuality, it seems that when it comes to multi-unit residences, the bottom line is the only thing that matters.

Beverlywood development is a 10-unit apartment complex that is trying to change that. Its ambition is to deliver a high-quality Architecture that has plenty of shared and individual outdoor spaces, a net zero footprint, and can be deployed rapidly as stackable prefabricated units. The project deploys modular manufacturing techniques that pre-fabricate and assemble parts more like a car in a factory than traditional wood/stick construction on-site. The units are completely assembled in the factory and trucked to the site where they are stacked and secured, ready to receive a permanent exterior enclosure. The exterior is fabricated (similarly to the units) in the factory as mega-components, transported to the site, and then attached to the stacked units. The separation of prefabricated unit and prefabricated skin allows for a range of possibilities in terms of complexity, depth of skin and cost.

We developed two multi-unit models based on this principal – the Beverlywood development (the “high end” model) and Skid Row Housing development (the affordable model). Both models deliver high-quality Architecture with sustainable design and a variety of indoor/outdoor living spaces. These models differ in feature and size but not spatial quality.

Beverlywood development is a visionary prototype of what multi-unit housing in Los Angeles could look and feel like. The open floor plan layout and its thick envelope suggest a different lifestyle; where the envelope of the building doesn’t just enclose the space but becomes a permeable expansion of the living areas into outdoor green spaces and an occupiable façade. A perspectival cube is the basic modular façade element that is aggregated across the elevation to enhance a perception of depth. Along the street facing elevations, they extrude out and form balconies and green spaces. On the sides, they become smaller personal spaces for reading, playing, and working while fragmenting the view to the outside like a pointillist painting.