Convert a deteriorated two story residential hotel to affordable permanent housing for 61 adults with mental disabilities. Provide a stable environment without being institutional. Develop sufficient community space within the building and grounds to administer social services for residents and the neighboring community. Create a residents' micro- community while integrating the "new" Las Palomas within the context of the larger neighborhood and, ultimately, the greater Los Angeles context.
The design strategy opens the roof of the former bathhouse to allow light and ventilation to penetrate the basement. Concentrically arranged curves expand out from the exposed inner court like ripples on the surface of the sea. The intersection of the curves and the assumed grid of the building define and organize the community spaces, circulation, and individual units. The area adjacent the open side of the building was excavated to create a curved sunken patio bringing additional light into the basement while permitting a fluid transition to the garden and exterior space. Year completed: 1996