Situated in an area of downtown Los Angeles that hosts one of the largest homeless populations in the country, the Skid Row Housing Trust’s Rainbow Apartments provides transitional housing units within an extreme socioeconomic and urban context.
A NEW COMMUNITY IN THE HEART OF SKID ROW
The dense 6-story building is comprised of 88 transitional housing units with a series of communal spaces. Five floors of residential units, arranged in a U-shape, cradle a raised central courtyard. Flanking the courtyard are program spaces including a shared kitchen, outdoor gathering and gardening spaces, laundry facilities, and a recreation room. Circulation paths throughout the building weave between the apartments and around the outside of the building to allow the residents both privacy and a sense of connection to the city. From the garden bridge above the courtyard, the U-shape opens, and residents are given a glimpse of the downtown skyline.
ENABLING A SAFE, SECURE ENVIRONMENT
The project addresses how to counteract the insularity and hermetic nature of the residents’ daily lives amid concerns over safety and security by introducing openness and social spaces in an effort to enable their reintegration into public life. In addition to individual apartments and community spaces, the building incorporates offices and conference rooms on the ground floor to provide social services and workshops for tenants as part of their assistance in transitioning back into society.
LOCATION / Los Angeles, California
TYPE / 88-unit single-room occupancy affordable housing
SIZE / 43,000sf
STATUS / Completed 2006
ROLE / Design Architect & Architect of Record
COST / $10 million