It’s six-story circular form rising immediately north of the I-10 Freeway, the New Carver Apartments, for which Wil Carson was the Project Designer and Hiroshi Tokumaru the Senior Technical Coordinator at Michael Maltzan Architecture, provides permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless, a place for solace and support in the center of the city.

“Carver Apartments suggest that once the budget gets tight enough, architecture in its most basic sense—the arrangement of space and light—is really the only thing that can allow this kind of project to succeed. The design… accepts the impossibility of solving the homeless problem with a tidy approach. It suggests a group of struggling people closing ranks to support one another — but also beginning the tough process of reaching back out toward the larger world.”

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The 97-unit complex, takes its circular form from the serpentine forms of the highway ramps which encircle its base, rising around a central courtyard which opens to the sky. Communal spaces, including kitchens, dining areas, gathering spaces, gardens, and on-site counseling facilities are located on the ground level with residential spaces elevated overhead. Public spaces also including a lounge immediately adjacent to the nearby freeway, and a rooftop deck with views of downtown just north, encouraging residents to make new connections, both to each other and the city they call home.

“The project proves that even as the government turns to underfinanced private institutions to help care for the poor, it is possible to push for innovative and humane design. Here architecture is used as a tool not only for aesthetic upliftment, but also to forge both a strong sense of community and a visual presence for the poor in a city that often seems to have forgotten them.”

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R O L E S

Wil Carson, Project Designer
Hiroshi Tokumaru, Senior Technical Coordinator
Michael Maltzan Architecture

P H O T O G R A P H Y

Iwan Baan & Wil Carson