Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc ) students, in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, have built an affordable house in the crime-ridden and low-income neighborhood of West Athens in Los Angeles. The IVRV House was built on land donated by LA County according to Dezeen, and was constructed for $165 per square foot (excluding donated labor and materials). The 1,185-square-foot home is two stories and has three bedrooms and two full baths.

Large cut out windows in the gabled roof allow natural light to flow into an entry courtyard on the ground level and a balcony and bedroom on the upper floor. The home is designed to allow the owners to enjoy time outside while being protected from intruders.

"So many of the houses in the neighborhood have fences on the front property line and bars on the windows," said Darin Johnstone, a design studio professor who heads the SCI-Arc/Habitat LA Housing Project. "We wanted to create a protected outdoor area within the gabled volume of the house, so the family can enjoy the full benefits of the California climate and lifestyle while feeling safe and secure."

"In this historically challenged neighborhood, we tried to produce a house for the family that is not only safe, affordable and sustainable but also delightful, alluring and hopefully beautiful," he said.

Read more >