234 Pico

The Pico mixed-use housing project brings a vibrant residential and commercial community to a critical block in Santa Monica, California.

Extending the Main Street commercial area and adding needed housing steps from the beach, the design for 234 Pico focuses on quality of life for the 105 residential apartments.
Single loaded outdoor walkways with private porches get light and air through the units from both sides maximizing cross breezes and natural daylight. The units are centered around two courtyards, one active and one quiet, and a community space called the heart between the buildings that brings landscape and gardens to the residents while blurring the boundaries between inside and outside. The entire project aims to create community by using open sightlines from the outdoor walkways through the courtyards to maximize the chance of serendipitous encounters.
The project also embraces the historic landmarked “BOWL” sign from the bowling alley that previously occupied the site and uses it to inform the architecture.
The project is divided into 9 pavilions that create a community village rather than a large monolithic structure on the long block. The architectural expression of the pavilions center around the idea of “cousins” where each piece has a distinct use of similar materials, colors and fenestration.
The project contains 105 apartments, including affordable units, comprised of studios, 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms. There is retail on the ground floor facing Pico Boulevard that centers around two moments along the street: the BOWL sign and the heart of the project. The heart is a gathering space for the resident community, the retail and restaurant users and the neighborhood. The Historic Bowl sign has its own gathering space at the base and a series of welcoming storefronts. The project has two roof decks to further activate the space for the residents and take advantage of mountain and ocean views.