Rainbow Apartments
Michael Maltzan Architecture

March 19, 2007 /

Los Angeles, California, USA

Photo: Wil Carson

Five floors of residential units, arranged in a partially open U-shaped configuration, cradle a central courtyard.

Situated in an area of downtown Los Angeles fast becoming one of the largest homeless populations in the country, Skid Row Housing Rainbow Apartments examines the role of creating space of transformation with an extreme socio-economic and urban context.

Photo: Wil Carson

As a dense 6-story mass, Skid Row Housing, is comprised of 88 transitional housing units with a series of communal spaces such as a dining area, communal kitchen, meeting rooms, outdoor gathering areas, and laundry facilities. In addition, 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.

Photo: Wil Carson
Photo: Wil Carson

The project addresses how to counteract the insularity and hermetic nature of resident's daily lives amid concerns over safety and security by introducing openness and social spaces in an effort to enable their reintegration into public life.
Arranged in a partially open U-shaped configuration, five floors of residential units cradle a central courtyard above a socle of parking and administrative functions on the ground floor.

Photo: Wil Carson

A chain of public spaces and exterior gathering areas are carved out or extruded from the mass to erode the building's apparent solidity, creating varying depths of connection and views between the internal life in the courtyard and the world outside.

Sketch courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture

Drawing courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture
Ground Floor Plan

Drawing courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture
Second Floor Plan

Drawing courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture

Facts about Rainbow Apartments

Total area:

43,000 ft2

Last updated: December 19, 2013

See also

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