HOUSE OF CAMARADERI

Student Name: Areil Hovsepian

School: Pasadena City College

Studio: ARCH 20B – Architectural Design

Instructor: Greg Zemora, Deborah Bird

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VIEW FRON THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF PASADENA AVE.

House of Camaraderie is a mixed-use transitional housing in South Pasadena, designed for veterans with PTSD and their service animals. This development is for veterans who returned from their military service and struggle to transition to civilian life and reintegrate into society. It houses 60 private residential units, shared co-housing programs, and support services to aid the transition to full-time work and long-term housing.

The comradeship that once connected military units, providing cohesiveness among the individual members, and allowing teams to operate effectively as a collective entity, is lost when veterans return from their service. This loss of companionship paired with their surroundings’ inability to understand or relate to their experiences leads to feelings of disconnection. Therefore, the design aims to address social isolation and loneliness through a community-based environment that fosters camaraderie, facilitates social connections, and opens opportunities for veterans to engage with support services such as counseling, job training, service animal training, and co-working. 

CONCEPTUAL COLLAGE
PLANS
MASSING STRATEGY

House of Camaraderie is a mixed-use transitional housing in South Pasadena, designed for veterans with PTSD and their service animals. This development is for veterans who returned from their military service and struggle to transition to civilian life and reintegrate into society. It houses 60 private residential units, shared co-housing programs, and support services to aid the transition to full-time work and long-term housing.

The comradeship that once connected military units, providing cohesiveness among the individual members, and allowing teams to operate effectively as a collective entity, is lost when veterans return from their service. This loss of companionship paired with their surroundings’ inability to understand or relate to their experiences leads to feelings of disconnection. Therefore, the design aims to address social isolation and loneliness through a community-based environment that fosters camaraderie, facilitates social connections, and opens opportunities for veterans to engage with support services such as counseling, job training, service animal training, and co-working. 

Second Floor Plan Drawing

By shifting volumes and offsetting surfaces, House of Camaraderie creates flexible, open spaces that facilitate informal social interaction, nurturing community building, strengthening the bond between a veteran and their service animal, and ultimately preparing members to integrate back into society.

To achieve the concept of camaraderie, a central void is applied to the mass to serve as a public courtyard to facilitate community building and induce a sense of belonging. Using a structural grid aligned along the setback lines, the volumes shift towards the edge of the constraints, maximizing the courtyard. Consequently, the building is split into two wings, being evocative of two people socializing.

Cross Section Fixed
Longitudinal Section

The opening facing Pasadena Ave reveals a portion of the courtyard and parts of the glass interior facade of the shared co-housing programs, showcasing the work-life atmosphere of the built environment.

The inner walls expand outward as the user approaches the entrance, exposing the internal communal balconies, vertically stacked, overlooking the courtyard. The configuration of these spaces embraces the inhabitants and enables horizontal social connections and vertical visual connections, fostering togetherness and assemblies.

Towards the northwest corner, a public cafe faces Pasadena Ave, uniting the larger neighboring community with the tenants and providing a collective space to strengthen social cohesion and networking.

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CENTRAL COURTYARD ON THE GROUND FLOOR

The courtyard opens up to public programs on the first level. It comprises a glass and steel enclosure, inviting natural light into the built environment and welcoming veterans and their service animals to engage with support services such as counseling, service animal training, and job training.

The courtyard incorporates seating and landscaping, drawing users towards the center for leisure and recreation use and facilitating social interactions amongst the tenants.

The upper levels consist of 15 private residential units, one guest unit, and a range of collective spaces. The apartments are shifted towards the sides, maximizing the central area and forming wide corridors for improved mobility. The interior hallways terminate at the ends and the corners, creating flexible residual spaces to foster social interactions among the residents.

Alternate Primary Image 2
VIEW FROM THE WESTERN INTERNAL COMMUNAL BALCONY

The co-housing programs, such as the shared kitchen and the terrace, face south, overlooking the mountains. It offers a tranquil and collaborative space for the veterans and their service animals to relax, dine, and socialize.

The residential units contain balconies of varying lengths, ranging from more private to more collective. The staggering of the balconies allows them to alternate within each level, creating comradery both horizontally and vertically. The railings of these exterior balconies also serve as screening systems where portions of the timber modules extend vertically, providing shade and privacy and uniting the balconies.