L.A.-based architecture practice KAP Studios has just completed its first residential project, four new family townhouses in Culver City for developer Wylan James. The townhouse model, unusual for this area, achieves greater densification with no loss of space, privacy, or quality of living. The practice has taken an existing rectangular site, set within this popular residential district, and designed a scheme which both maximizes density on the plot and provides highly desirable new homes, replacing one x 1,200 sq ft bungalow with four x 2,200 sq ft detached homes – almost 8 times the total amount of residential floor space.
KAP Studios have focused on creating high-quality open-plan, family living, with double-height rooms, roof terraces, and extensive glazing and natural light. All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms.
The four ‘row houses’ have been orientated to create 800 sq ft of a private garden for each, which is overlooked and well connected to the main living spaces. An access driveway serving all houses creates communal space on the ground floor and encourages the social interaction essential to a thriving neighborhood. The ground story is partially sunken relative to the sidewalk to create a private yet active streetscape, which houses garages with 2 car spaces per household.
The scheme effectively establishes a new ‘small lot’ typology for housing in Culver City, similar to that enabled in 2005 by LA’s adoption of the Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance. This allows for greater subdivision of land and enables developers to provide more flexibility in infill housing schemes as a smart-growth alternative to traditional suburban-style single-family subdivisions.
“Culver City is experiencing huge growth, and with Wade Street, we can offer attainable housing within a heightened market. It’s an ambitious design, providing beautiful, flexible, light-filled space just a 10-minute bike ride from the beach. We had a clear idea of our preferred aesthetic. Our ambition as developers combined with KAP’s ambition as architects has resulted in a project which is significant and unique.” Simon James, of developer Wylan James
“We are delighted to see Wade Street complete. This kind of careful infill project is just what Culver City needs, with radically increased density making room for all the market and affordable housing that LA will need for the foreseeable future. We have carried out a study for the wider area to show how this approach can scale up and grow over the coming years.” Michael Wilson Katsibas, Director of KAP in LA
| Photography courtesy of KAP Studios/Mike Kelley