La Quinta, California

Eric Naslund and Mathilda Bialk of Studio E Architects have designed a socially and environmentally sensitive expansion and renovation of Washington Street Affordable Housing in Southern California for Coachella Valley Housing Coalition.

Washington Street Apartments is a total re-imagining and expansion of an existing low-income senior housing project into a sustainable, vibrant community.

For its inspiring design, Washington Street Apartments has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

The project consists of 72 reconfigured and modernized units, 68 new units, two community buildings with pools and outdoor gathering areas throughout the site.

The existing modest mid-century style is enhanced to meet current sustainability needs.

Sustainable measures include natural cross-ventilation through thermal chimneys, day lighting, photovoltaic systems, and deep shading techniques.

The sustainability concept is based around two types of roofing: a draping roof and continuous terrace roofs.

Walls were built between units to retain privacy, and patios and gates were added to create more personalized outdoor spaces.

Support spaces include mail room, kitchen, mechanical, restrooms and offices, while public spaces consist of a fitness area, computer and multi-purpose room, as well as spa, pool, and outdoor terraces.

The spaces are arranged in such a way to promote interaction between the residents.

A color palette was chosen that is in harmony with the surrounding desert landscape and nature.

The project offers residents a private sanctuary in the heart of the desert, while establishing a strong sense of community.

The site reinforces social connections and chance meetings, which are essential to healthy senior life.

Project: Washington Street Affordable Housing
Architects: Studio E Architects 
Lead Architects: Eric Naslund and Mathilda Bialk 
General Contractor: Sun Country Builders 
Client: Coachella Valley Housing Coalition (CVHC) 
Photographers: John Durant

Green Good Design Awards 2023

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