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Microplex Prototype

A micro-scaled, single-lot/six-unit urban-dwelling prototype, the project comprises two offset, slender parallel bars on either side of a passage with forecourts at the road and alley ends. At ground level, at the heart of the typical 7,500 SF Los Angeles lot, each bar houses a partially covered court, trees, and lightwells. Here, all inhabitants interact daily near their front doors and at the landscape extensions of their living rooms for four of the six units.


Todd Lynch and Mohamed Sharif with

Morgane Copp

Chieh-Ting Chuang

Ben Gourley

Arthur Dos Santos

Emmanuel Proussaloglou

Xiuwen Qi

Environmental Control Systems and Climatology Advisor:

Alan Locke, PE/Adjunct Professor, UCLA Architecture & Urban Design


The base building block for our proposal is a two-story T-shaped figure whose compact footprint supports an overhanging upper level. These overhangs form central street-facing patios and shaded central courts or covered outdoor rooms whose gentle V-shaped, 10'-6" high ceilings gently scoop light and air into the outdoor rooms. 


Placing bars near the longer site edges and offsetting them from one another along the east-west axis avails their wall and roof surfaces and masses to passive shading and cooling. Roofs rise only in the middle of the lot, reaching 29'-0" and are posi­tioned for solar optimization. They are lower at street and alley ends to mitigate bulkiness. The 18'-0" setbacks at the alley, and street ends allow EV motor courts for up to 10 cars. Given increased mobility options in the city, we recommended no more than 4. Protruding and tilting side-lit boxes with blank faces are used instead of typical windows to establish privacy in bedrooms and bathrooms. These sculptural volumes cast shadows over the wall surfaces over the day. 

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Microplex Prototype is our entry in the 'Fourplex' category of the recent 'Low-Rise: Housing Ideas for Los Angeles' competition. Its precedent is a tall, narrow 2-story/1,200 SF IDU/Dingbat-like prototype we designed before the competition.

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