Avenel Homes Cooperative – Silverlake, Los Angeles

General Information

  • Architecture: Ain, Johnson, and Day
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The Avenel Homes were commissioned by a collective of WWII veterans who pooled approximately $11,000 each to purchase a small 248 x 124 square foot hillside lot in Silverlake, and pay for the construction of the homes. The neighborhood was fast becoming a center of bohemia in the city, and an adjacent hillside boasted a vegetarian farming commune. On less than a square acre, the multi-family units offered a counter to the suburban single-family homes being developed at the time in other areas of the city, including tracts such as the Mar Vista Homes concurrently being developed by Ain.

Working with his firm partners Johnson and Day, Ain spearheaded the design of the ten-unit row house complex constructed of economical wood frame and stucco built on two lots with a common path between. Set at an angle to the street in a “sawtooth” pattern similar that used at his 1039 Dunsmuir Flats apartments, the steep hillside required that Ain stagger the units, each stepped back and looking above one another. A separation betwen garages and the two pedestrian walkways created an intentional intimacy within the project to bring together families and build community.

(c)Mak Architectural Tour 2009, Los Angeles, CA