LINC Housing in Long Beach: Magnolia + PCH

LINC Housing in Long Beach:
Magnolia + PCH

Withee Malcolm Architects joined LINC Housing to respond to an RFP from the City of Long Beach for an affordable housing complex. The team’s winning design proposes a block-long apartment community dedicated to special needs and at-risk populations.

LINC Housing considered either affordable family or special needs housing for the property, located on Magnolia Avenue between 17th Street and the Pacific Coast Highway. Given the unusually long and narrow lot, the architects developed a plan for special needs apartments, which allows for smaller units. In turn, the smaller footprint maximizes density and allows for a low, three and four-story building with apartments arrayed along a single loaded corridor.

Rather than presenting one long repetitive facade or multiple abrupt changes along the street front, the architecture meets the challenge of the site by creating four distinct yet related components with anchors at 17th and PCH. The lively, articulated facade activates Magnolia Avenue and encourages pedestrian traffic with its human-friendly scale. By breaking up the massing of building and minimizing the scale, the design establishes an accessible urban fabric that respects the city context. The development is both a part of the neighborhood and its own community.

The clean, contemporary design uses color, organic materials, wood-like panels and glass to bring a beach city sensibility to the complex. Amenities including ample outdoor and indoor seating, community room, and the fourth-floor roof deck where the laundry room is located are designed to bring people together and support the special needs residents, most of whom are mentally or physically disabled.

In addition to the 56 apartments and resident amenities, the ground floor features 2,400 square feet of recreational and community-service facilities including space for resident services staff, case managers and supportive programs.