Pico Place

Pico Place is a 32-unit LEED Platinum affordable apartment building consisting of 2 and 3-bedroom family units with a common laundry room, community room and subterranean parking. The project provides a connection between the tall Sheraton hotel to the east and the beach to the west by placing the building volume on each side of the property and opening up the project’s center to create an enclosed, residential interior courtyard. Strips of fabric floating above the courtyard offer a variation in material and a sense of place while shading the courtyard and providing privacy from the hotel overlooking the building.  By placing a one-story community room along Pico Blvd., and creating a ‘frame’ that unifies the project, the interior courtyard can be seen from the street, while also remaining semi-private.  This allows courtyard activity to spill out to, and provides a pedestrian connection with Pico Blvd., protecting the residential properties across the alley from the courtyard noise and activity. Sustainability is an important component of the design; shading, natural light and ventilation, along with proper building orientation to induce buoyancy and natural breezes.  A small green roof is positioned to take advantage of, and contribute to the pedestrian nature of the street.  The building exceeds California Title 24 requirements by more than 25%. The major exterior material consists of recycled cement board siding in different colors and textures, creating an elegant façade that is contextual and varied, and which complements the surrounding buildings and uses.  The parking is accessed from the rear alley, and drought tolerant/native landscaping provides a rich living environment for the people that will live here and provide a transition from the busy commercial area immediately to the west, to the residential district to the south and east. All units have a dishwasher adjacent to the kitchen sink.  The building will have bike racks for the tenants, a common mailbox area, and a trash chute on all floors, so that refuse and recyclables will be collected in the subterranean garage, away from the common space of the main courtyard.   The project will meet the city of Santa Monica’s requirements for urban storm water runoff and green building materials and efficiency.


Project Type


430 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, California, 90405, United States

Related links


  • Brooks + Scarpa (formerly Pugh + Scarpa)
  • Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA
  • Angela Brooks, AIA, LEED AP
  • Emily Hodgdon, Mark Buckland, Ching Luk, Sri Sumantri, Silke Clemens, Brad Buter
  • PEG Office of Landscape + Architecture
  • Weidlinger Associates
  • E2DI
  • Barbara Hall
  • Veneklasen Associates
  • Phil Easton
  • Morley Construction
  • John Edward Linden