In response to the Low-Rise: Housing Ideas for Los Angeles competition organized by the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office and Christopher Hawthorne, the Chief Design Officer for the City of Los Angeles, with support from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the James Irvine Foundation, and Citi, Homegrown Court proposes a rethinking of the traditional 50’x100’ single family Los Angeles parcel to accommodate 4-6 units and meet the needs of today’s rapidly changing Los Angeles. Homegrown Court updates the vernacular Bungalow Court typology through the paradigm shift of radical flexibility, creating adaptable units that expand and contract according to residents’ needs, and productive outdoor spaces whose public-private gradient ebbs and flows as desired. The Homegrown Court thereby balances the prototypical and customizable, enabling its implementation throughout the region, while centering and celebrating Los Angeles’s diverse cultures and communities and creating 21st-century solutions for the city and region’s changing dynamics.
Context conscious: Homegrown Courts are contextually scaled to integrate with existing neighborhood fabric, introducing appropriate massing and comfortable outdoor spaces in harmony with their surroundings.
Breathing room: Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, accessibility to good public open space – let alone personal open space – was an inequitable privilege. The Homegrown Court resolves this, providing every unit its own outdoor space, plus a shared courtyard and other adaptable areas. Meeting needs, and wants: Homegrown Courts learn from their contexts, using prevailing setbacks and strategically sloped roofs to integrate with existing neighborhoods. In-built flexibility makes units adaptable to residents’ diverse needs and supports multi-generational occupation.
Community building: A central courtyard, adaptable and programmable according to residents’ shared goals, builds community by fostering cooperation. Adjacent to the covered parking, the courtyard can be expanded to accommodate gardens, landscaping, and play areas as mobility options evolve and car dependence decreases.