In the military, “got your six” means “I’ve got your back.” That supportive philosophy informs The Six, a 52-unit affordable housing complex for disabled veterans in Los Angeles, designed by Brooks + Scarpa. The building has both private studios and one-bedroom apartments along with community gathering spaces, including a communal living room and rooftop garden. The units face inward toward the courtyard, another gathering place for residents. All the design decisions were made to provide the maximal comfort to residents, many of whom have experienced homelessness. The facility is designed to provide both housing and healing to the residents it serves.
These are shared spaces within a complex. At The Six, the courtyard and green roof give tenants a sense of connection to their neighbors within the building.
Combining affordable housing with wraparound services provides extra support to residents. Research has shown that supportive housing not only cures homelessness, but it can also improve residents’ health overall and reduce their dependence on crisis services like shelters or hospitals.
This encompasses a number of strategies to reduce a facility’s energy use, from the orientation of a building on a site to the shape of the structure itself. By maximizing natural light and airflow, among other design decisions, The Six is 50% more energy efficient than a conventionally designed building.
Removing barriers between a multifamily housing project and its surrounding neighborhood helps give residents a sense of belonging.
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