Name: Habitat 15

Location: Hollywood, California.

Team: Jodi Batay-Csorba. Lead Designer/Architect/Manager, Predock Frane Architects

Project Area: 39,000 sqft

Project Year: 2009

Client: Habitat Group Development

Project Status: Construction Completion, 2009


The Habitat 15 project is a four story, 15-unit infill housing project at the foot of the Hollywood Hills. Five 2-Story units are accessed at the street level and ten 3-story units are accessed at the third floor via stairs and an elevator. The project is divided into two separate buildings West and East, with a central courtyard acting as both a buffer and connection between them.

Maximum unit count was foremost, composed of a ground level “base” of loft-like units, with 11’ plus ceilings, and three story townhouse-like units above. Essential in the process was a constant awareness of fundamental issues such as acoustical separation, lateral strength, and clear interior organization. From this simple diagram, the project is invigorated with overlapping sectional volumes and a multi central/social space via the green wall and “sky yards”.

The project is deceptively simple - the rectangular exterior forms reveal an interior of multi-story interlocking and spatially dynamic volumes. A subterranean parking podium maximizes the lot area, and accommodates 37 parking spaces. The ground floor level, which is accessed through the central courtyard, consists of five units that take advantage of their “at grade” position by opening onto their adjacent private outdoor spaces. Each also has a second floor accommodating an additional bedroom.

The remaining ten units are configured vertically like townhouses. The entries to these units are accessed via stairs and an elevator to the third floor walkway that connects the units. Once inside, the units are organized with main spaces such as living and dining on the third level and bedrooms either downstairs on the second level or up a flight of stairs to the fourth level. The units maximize the allowable vertical height with double height ceilings and triple height skylights over the living and dining areas. The West building’s living spaces look out towards Detroit Street and the Hollywood Hills as their front yard. The East building’s living spaces look into the courtyard which acts as a visual “sky yard” through the use of a 4-story green wall of landscape.

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