Gramercy Senior Housing

Architect: Kevin Daly Architects

Owner: Hollywood Community Housing Corporation

Location: Los Angeles

Category:  Excellence in Affordable Housing

Project site:  Not Previously developed  

Building program type: Residential - multi-family, 5 or more units

Gramercy Senior Housing

Built on a block-length lot that was once owned by the city of Los Angeles and served as a towing yard, Gramercy Senior Housing is one of the first developments in the city to capitalize on supportive housing funds. The project, guided by extensive public outreach, delivers 64 sorely needed apartments to low-income and homeless seniors in one of the country’s most expensive housing markets.

Across 70,000 square feet, Gramercy Senior Housing accommodates residents who make less than 50% of the area’s median income and includes a commercial cafe, ample community spaces, and a public plaza on the entry level. The team’s design emerged as six discrete buildings that reflect the scale of the single-family homes that surround it. With bustling Washington Boulevard to the north and a swath of Craftsman homes to the north, the complex is an array of structures connected by an exterior walkway system finished with an organic trellis that contrasts with mirror steel hoods that protect windows from southern exposure.

Along the boulevard, the buildings’ massing is taller to shield those on the other side, granting residents an extra measure of privacy and maximizing the light available to the surrounding parcels. The project was optimized for modular construction, and its highly efficient floor plans draw in natural light and ventilation from either end. Courtyard spaces just outside the apartments function as shared living rooms, while an edible garden on the roof provides additional community space.

“This project features interesting massing, and the spine creates a compelling social space for its residents.” - Jury comment

The project offers residents a sense of place that is particular to the site, differentiating it from typical affordable housing projects in Southern California. The team’s focus on establishing connections to the outdoors across multiple levels ensures residents can engage with their surroundings and neighbors without feeling crowded. Instead of relegating outdoor space to an unused corner of the roof, only accessible by elevator or interior stairs, the team has woven connections through all levels to reach users regardless of their age or mobility.

In addition to adding affordable housing in a city facing increasing homelessness, the project also activates Washington Boulevard, originally built to serve as Los Angeles’ first avenue to the sea. It was once a thriving commercial corridor but has more recently been marked by a mix of small businesses and shuttered storefronts. Prior to construction, the brownfield site was leased to a towing company, which stored its fleet there. The complex’s plaza has helped inject life into the once-abandoned block.

Additional information

Project attributes

Year of substantial project completion: 2021

Gross conditioned floor area: 37200 sq. ft.

Project team

Structural Engineering + Shoring Design: John Labib & Associates MEP/Sustainability: PAE Engineers

Engineer- Civil: KPFF Consulting Engineers

Landscape Architect: place

Code / Fire: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Acoustic: Newson Brown Acoustic Engineers

Specifications: CGA Associates, LLC

Trash & Loading: American Trash Management, Inc.

Lighting: HLB

Waterproofing: James West

Soils/Geotech: Geocon West

CASP: RJC Group Inc

Methane Mitigation: Methane Specialists

Land use Attorney: Rosenheim & Associates, Inc.


Catherine Baker, FAIA, Chair, Nowhere Collaborative, Chicago

John DeForest, AIA, DeForest Architects, Seattle

Brian Lane, FAIA, Koning Eizenberg, Santa Monica, Calif.

Amit Price Patel, AIA, DIALOG, Vancouver, British Columbia

Michael D. Robinson, AIA, Robi4 Architecture & Planning, San Diego

Image credits


Joshua White


Paul Vu


Paul Vu


Paul Vu


Paul Vu