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Step Up on Fifth, Santa Monica, United States

Tuesday 28 Apr 2009

A design for life

All images John Linden 
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Design by Pugh + Scarpa provides eco-sustainable housing for homeless in CA 

Bicoastal architects Pugh + Scarpa has just completed a new 46 unit permanent housing facility with rehabilitation and support services for the homeless and mentally disabled population in Santa Monica, California.

Bringing its users and the community closer together, the project also includes ground level commercial/retail space and subterranean parking. Privacy and comfort for residents is maintained by custom water jet anodized aluminum panels on the main façade. South-facing walls filter direct sunlight with asymmetrical horizontal openings that lend unexpected visual depth while creating a sense of security for the emotionally sensitive occupants. The panels create a dramatic screen that sparkles in the sun and glows at night, while also acting as sun protection and privacy screens, the striking yet light-hearted exterior provides a welcoming exterior.

Step Up on 5th distinguishes itself from most conventionally developed projects in that it incorporates energy efficient measures that exceed standard practice, optimize building performance, and ensure reduced energy use during all phases of construction and occupancy.

The planning and design of Step Up on 5th emerged from close consideration and employment of passive solar design strategies. These strategies include: locating and orienting the building to control solar cooling loads; shaping and orienting the building for exposure to prevailing winds; shaping the building to induce buoyancy for natural ventilation; designing windows to maximize day lighting; shading south facing windows and minimizing west-facing glazing; designing windows to maximize natural ventilation; shaping and planning the interior to enhance daylight and natural air flow distribution. These passive strategies alone make this building 50% more efficient than a conventionally designed structure. Step Up also incorporates numerous sustainable features that exceed state mandated Title 24 energy measures by more than 30%.


Key Facts

Value 7.76(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Brooks + Scarpa

More projects by this architect

Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts

Green Dot Animo Leadership High School

Interfaith Chapel, University of North Florida

Parque de Investigacion Innovacion y Tecnologica

Kimball Art Center

Redelco Residence

Contemporary Art Museum

2010 AIA Architecture Firm Award

Solar Umbrella


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