The Howard

2022 –
North Park, San Diego, CA.

 

The Howard is a 34-unit apartment building, that sits neatly on a 7,000-square-foot skinny rectangular lot, in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego. The high density associated with the building, led to the creation of voids, as the principal design component, instead of masses.

The first step was creating 3, small internal courtyards, two that carry the vertical circulation of the building, and one that is a garden space. These courtyards open the building masses to light and air from multiple sides, allowing for cross ventilation and light-filled spaces. The massing is then further eroded into smaller outdoor private spaces that can share views into the courtyards and street life beyond. This outdoor circulation system, connected by shared and semi-private spaces, enhances community within the building by creating informal, chance-driven interactions in a comfortable environment.

The normalcy of the exterior window pattern gives order and structure to the eroded volumes, which happen more at random, and helps to assert the building into its context in a less presumptuous way.