Location: Venice, California

Bounded by pacific avenue on the west; north Venice boulevard on the north; South Venice boulevard on the south; and dell avenue on the east.

The site is subdivided by the northern-most extension of grand canal of Venice,

And is approximately 6 feet above sea level.

Zoning Envelope:

Maximum Height - 35 feet

Setbacks - 5 feet along property line, 

15 feet along canal.


Eric Owen Moss


Erica Li

Junxi Peng

Omnipresent American affluence obscures a number of substantial social pathologies. Walk the streets of Los Angeles from the beaches to Boyle Heights, and a primary example is readily apparent: housing for the homeless/affordable housing/social housing is a problem ignored for decades. The City of Los Angeles has now proposed to address this problem by providing funding, and distributing new affordable housing projects to all 15 of the city’s council districts. Previous more piecemeal strategies tended to locate affordable housing largely in the skid row area of downtown.

The current urban proposition suggests the housing problem is city wide, and therefore location of new housing solutions should likewise be distributed equitably throughout the city. The studio project site is in Venice, the largest unbuilt site in that Westside venue, and will occasion both substantial public support, and substantial public opposition.

 The property is bounded by Pacific Avenue on the west; North Venice Boulevard on the north; South Venice Boulevard on the south; and Dell Avenue on the east. 

From time to time in the architecture discourse the quality of design results are qualified by associating design results with the ‘limits’ of a particular building typology. Rather than applying an absolute qualitative standard – the project is good or it’s not – projects, particularly affordable housing, are often considered ipso facto a positive simply because they remedy a long standing societal problem.

This confusion of design content with building typology cannot be our standard. Rather affordable housing should represent the highest quality of conceptual content, Unmitigated by its presumed social virtues.

The project is a critical design and social content first step for the City of Los Angeles today. The project perform an essential social service, and it represent to the local community the capacity of its design to transcend the long held conventional perception that, in this typological context, social service is prioritized over design content. As a harbinger of a new commitment to solving the affordable housing problem in Los Angeles, it’s essential this project delivers both the highest design and social content to Venice and to the City of Los Angeles.


Cross Section - East

Structure - Chunk

Cross Section - West

Using Format