Multi-family housing

I recently judged an architecture competition organized by the Southern California Chapter of the Institute for Classical Architecture/Classical America and Habitat for Humanity in Los Angeles. The topic was how to design four houses on a very skinny (typical for LA) ¼-acre lot. The challenge for the architects was not only to accommodate parked cars—this is California, after all—but also how to fulfil home-buyers’ demands in 3-bedroom houses that were about 1,100 square feet. That’s more than 50 percent smaller than the average new home being built this year. Smaller houses are not only more affordable (they not only cost less to build, but more importantly land costs are reduced), they also raise the overall urban density, which is good for all of us.

One Response to Multi-family housing

  • Bonjour!
    I have been a fan of yours since your very first book – when my sister and I were living in Brooklyn. She was an art student at Pratt and we had friends studying architecture there. Your piece about upper Connectictut Avenue is delightful, but the most intriguing one to me is above. I grew up in Greenbelt, Maryland, a WPA project completed just before WWII. – a project especially close to Eleanor Roosevelt. My sister and her family live there now, albeit no longer in an “Old” Greenbelt dwelling like the one in which we were raised. It’s surprising and thought-provoking, how small those cinder-block attached houses are – humble but certainly adequate. We had a three bedroom house on an ‘end’ – with an attached garage and a 1/4 acre yard…..plenty of space for kids to play and grownups to sit on the patio sipping iced tea. My Mother had generous, old fashioned flower gardens on either side of the house. No doubt there will always be Americans who need such status symbols as Mc Mansions. The Depression/WWII generation was grateful for so much less.
    I hope to meet you at the Tenement Museum.
    Best wishes,
    Kathleen Treat

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