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Long Beach + 21st Street Apartments

Although the Long Beach + 21st Apartments, a 41-unit affordable housing project,
had a modest construction budget, we were able to creatively design safe, usable,
on-site outdoor amenities for the seniors and formerly homeless residents. Set
within an urban context on Long Beach Blvd, where the Metro Blue Line runs
down the median, we reclaimed the site’s parking lot transforming the space into
a gardenesque environment with a circuit walking path, edible gardens and a
“front porch”.

To offset the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood, we designed “rooms” that
harken back to a time when one could sit outside, watch the world go by, and
enjoy the company of neighbors. Our “front porch” -- a seating area adjacent
to the property’s entry -- provides residents a place to wait for transportation
or interact with others. A collection of various trees that flower, fruit or change
color with the seasons shade the walking path and benches. And the edible
garden and raised vegetable beds give residents opportunities to nurture and
grow a variety of plants as well as congregate and share stories.

Each outdoor space or “room” becomes an opportunity for the residents to
develop a sense of community and take pride and ownership of their new home.

Photography: Panic Studio LA


The Architects Collective