Dillon617 is a 49-unit residential development located on a narrow infill lot in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Designed by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA), the scheme reinterprets the midcentury “missing middle” bungalows typical of the area to develop a new, denser, multifamily missing-middle typology.
“The opportunity to reinvigorate commercial arteries with housing represents a new paradigm for Los Angeles,” said Lorcan O’Herlihy, LOHA’s founder and design principal. This in turn makes for a “more robust and inclusive city.”
The complex’s massing consists of two long, roughly parallel bars that split at the street frontages on both ends to create entry plazas. These spaces lead to open-air stairs and corridors clad in a bright white finish that contrasts with the striking dark Metal Sales wall panels covering the building’s outward-facing sides. Perforated screens punctuate the street-facing elevations, animating them and giving passersby a look inside.
The bifurcated massing brings light and air deep into the building. Cross ventilation, building orientation, and daylighting were key considerations in the project’s sustainability strategy. To take advantage of the site’s temperate climate, LOHA’s design integrates open communal spaces into the dense urban development. Stepped shared terraces are carved out from the building’s central pinch point, a strategy mirrored on the building’s north elevation. Punched balconies on the building’s long sides provide further outdoor amenities to individual units.
Los Angeles, O’Herlihy noted, is densifying, resulting in an “inevitable conflict between multiunit housing and houses.” By incorporating elements like intimate green spaces and terraced hillsides and plazas, all prevalent in the surrounding lower-density neighborhood, Dillon617 endeavors to show how multifamily housing can ameliorate L.A.’s housing challenges while remaining sensitive to context.
Architect: Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
Location: Los Angeles
Landscape design: Stephen Billings Landscape Architecture
Civil and MEP engineering: SY Lee Associates
Structural engineering: John Labib and Associates
Shore engineering: Cefali & Associates
Metal panel cladding: Metal Sales
Weather barrier: DuPont Tyvek
Windows and doors: Milgard
Flooring: DTC Flooring
Signage: Fusion Signs
Window shades: Clutch-Operated FlexShade
Smoke door: Smoke Guard Systems
Planters: Old Town Fiberglass Planters
Bike racks: Dero Ultra Space Saver