LA is known for its urban sprawl. Rows and rows of single story bungalows stretching out into the desert, only interrupted to make way for freeways and shopping centers. People have flocked here for the endless sunshine and opportunity. And here we are, over two centuries later with more people living in LA than ever and we have run out of places to house them all. The housing shortage in LA and California is a hot topic.
The Butler Co-Living Apartments are our take on addressing the need for more housing. Take an existing 1950’s 8-unit apartment, strip it back, divide it up and create a whole new-to-LA concept: Co-Living. 32 micro-efficient suites that allow occupants to live independently while sharing basic amenities. A kitchen for all, but private suites and well appointed bathrooms for each. A new take on apartment living, conveniently located by colleges, public transportation, and entertainment and shopping destinations; this is LA afterall.
Our co-living projects all share the same common threads: functionality, adaptability, and practicality.
Microunits in principle are not a new phenomenon and small rooms are the norm in global cities with high population density. As Los Angeles slowly but steadily deploys its future public transit system, the push towards small makes sense as a new wave of inhabitants take a stand against excess. This crowd embraces living simply without the expected household demands of a larger dwelling unit or freestanding house.
Space is of course the top priority and every inch does matter in the balance between compact and constricted. A reccuring theme in our designed suites is the integration of custom built-in casework, refrigerators, entertainment systems, and even the bed. A fold-up bed that effortlessly retracts back up into the wall creating more space for the occupant. Now what space was previously reserved solely for a fixed bed can be used as a living space during te day. A space for game night, yoga, or whatever fits. Bathrooms are not spared either: a sizable shower and luxury finishes elevate standard expectations. To live alone does not mean to live without delight.
Each microunit contains a private bathroom and a varying amount of impermanent space. Typically reserved for the bed and custom built-ins, this can also be configured to form a common dining area or whatever the residents of a single unit wish it to be. A setup great for friends or singles that want to live with other like-situated folk but still maintain a level of personal autonomy appropriate for their stage in life; or corporate housing where post-hours collaboration and personal downtime coexist but remain separate.
These units have to be practical because condensing a life in no more than 350 square foot on average can be tough. Amenities such as on-site digital parcel lockers and in-unit kitchens and laundry units provide ease convenience within reach. Each suite is digitally controlled via a centralized home automation console that eliminates the fuss of finding switches and dials and buttons in a panicked frenzy. Built-ins save space by leveraging every dedicated inch for a purpose. What is unused is left for each inhabitant to customize to their will. A small selective microcosm is not any less special.