New Carver Apartments | Notes of Interest

This project pushes the boundaries of what affordable housing should look like and how architecture can transform both individuals and communities. The development revived an under-utilized neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles, its architecture making no distinction between affordable housing and high-end design. Its housing, combined with on-site social services, is the most effective means of ending homelessness in the community.

This 97-unit project not only satisfies the basic needs of its formerly homeless residents—95 of whom earn less than 50% of the Area Median Income—but provides them with a healthy and sustainable living environment. The project exceeds the stringent requirements of California’s energy efficiency requirements, Title 24, by over 16%. The building is an exemplary model of physical and social sustainability.

The design prompt for the permanent supportive housing project goes beyond that of simply providing a roof over one’s head. The architecture operates in multiple ways and responds with sensitivity to the varying needs of the residents, the spaces ranging from very public to very private. Although disparate functions, all the spaces are woven together by open air and light. The design provides a safe and secure environment, yet porous enough to encourage interaction.

The foundation for the project’s success is its architecture, which transforms the lives of the residents through the integration of space for on-site services dedicated to the residents of the building and located on the ground floor. With immediate access to primary healthcare, substance abuse programs, and case management, the residents have stronger support towards independent living. The project not only provides housing and supportive services, but builds community, the true component towards a fulfilling and stable life.

Additional Credits

  • Civil Engineer: Paller-Roberts Engineering, Inc.
  • Engineer: B.W. Smith Structural Engineers
  • General Contractor: Westport Construction, Inc.
  • Landscape Architect: [place]
  • MEP Engineer: IBE Consulting Engineers
  • Photo Credit: © Iwan Baan

New Carver Apartments

Jury Comments

The striking feature of the design is its iconic characteristics. This is the kind of design that could change peoples’ minds and make a statement. It says “yes” to what many people have said “no”. It is sophisticated in its larger design, but it is also a simple place for one homeless man to live. It is bigger than itself.

The exuberant use of color and pattern imbue this development with joy, hope and optimism that is so often missing in affordable housing.

The interior feels like a fabulous cruise!

2011 AIA/HUD Secretary's Awards Jury

  • Katherine Austin, AIA, Chair
  • Katherine Austin Architect
  • Sebastopol, Calif.
  • Luis F. Borray, Assoc. AIA
  • U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Claire Conroy
  • Residential Architecture Magazine
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Regina C. Gray, PhD
  • U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Mike Jackson, FAIA
  • Historical Preservation Agency
  • State of Illinois
  • Springfield, Ill.
  • Luis Jauregui, AIA
  • Jaurequi, Inc.
  • Austin, Tex.
  • Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA
  • Florida International University Miami
  • Coconut Grove, Fla.

Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy