Los Angeles, CA
The site for 4242 Crenshaw is in Leimert Park, originally designed by the Olmsted Brothers, and one of the first comprehensively planned communities in Southern California. It was considered a model of urban planning for its time. Automobile traffic near schools and churches was minimized, parking was off alleys leaving the main streets free of cars, utility wires were buried or hidden at the rear, and densely planted trees lined the streets. Detached cubic houses faced the streets with uniform proportions and heights, and individually ornamented facades.
4242 Crenshaw is on the primary boulevard which forms the western boundary of Leimert Park. Here the scale shifts to larger multifamily buildings. The design for 4242 Crenshaw aims to both acknowledge the shift in scale and retain the sense of detached massing typical of Leimert Park’s traditional fabric.
The building is articulated with 9’-6” side yard slots between each pair of unit stacks, echoing the detached cubic homes of Leimert Park at a new scale. The building is both singular, and seven individual blocks. Shifting balconies create rhythmic repetition at a finer grain. Alternating tones of the unit blocks further break the scale of the building into detached pieces that match the neighborhood. Each of the side yards is landscaped to recount the side yards of detached houses behind.
The length of street front along Crenshaw Boulevard is all active use storefront retail and building amenity. Entries to these spaces are in recesses which track the yards above. Landscape strips separate sidewalk and building. All automobile access is off the alley to a parking garage at the rear of the building. There are 68 bicycle parking spaces within the garage.
The 124 units are family oriented with 3 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 1 bedroom types.
The rooftop facing Crenshaw is a landscaped amenity space for building residents with seating and BBQ areas. The other section