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Low Rise LA

A winning entry in the Low-Rise LA competitionHow to Build* Our Own Living Structures is a proposal for missing middle housing, re-imagined from the ground up. The design envisions land-use and zoning policies that are oriented towards kinship-building for middle scale mixed-use and residential developments that foster new relationships and opportunities for primarily single-family neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles.


Location: Los Angeles, California

Project Team: Laura Marie Peterson + De Peter Yi + Matthew Crilley


Re-zoning Lots

Density is a unique challenge in L.A. that cannot be addressed by simply building taller, but rather by first questioning the way we make claim to and share the use of land. The line in zoning is codified to create separation rather than opportunity, and prioritizes the dominance of commercial instruments such as streets and property values. Our design proposal transforms the site perimeter from a line of division to a tool that can be shaped towards mutually beneficial relationships – between residents, between neighbors, and between community members. This idea scales up from our immediate site into the neighborhood at large. New types of community shared spatial uses occur at these redefined threshold.

Low Rise LA
Two housing units with a shared en-suite in between.

Re-zoning Courtyards

Who speaks for the trees? We thought about how zoning for outdoor space can benefit both human and non-human beings. In our re-zoned site, each resident has a courtyard, and each courtyard has a tree. In lieu of side setbacks, these Green Patches and Courtyards empower neighborshoods to  preserve patches of open space along the property line and within it based on access to views and natural light, while allowing denser building in other areas of the site. 

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2022 02 05 Low Rise Housing Axon