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The Best Affordable Housing Architects in Los Angeles, California

14 Min Read

Many people come to Los Angeles to chase dreams and start a new life. However, not everyone can live and sustain the expensive California lifestyle. With the rise of housing costs and other living expenses, the city has committed to developing more affordable housing units for its residents. A lot of developers are building smaller multifamily buildings so that tenants can pay a more affordable rent.

We compiled the best architects in Los Angeles specializing in affordable housing to help you find the most ideal firm for your needs. The award-winning companies featured on this list were chosen for their unique designs, innovative practices, and impressive portfolio. Take a look at 10 of the best affordable housing architects in Los Angeles.


Kevin Daly Architects

3617 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016

Kevin Daly Architects is an architectural firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York. The firm has been recognized for building and transforming properties into a functional environment for the community using innovative techniques in sustainability. Founded in 1990 by Kevin Daly, the company focuses on reclaiming structures and breathing new life into them. In 30 years, Kevin Daly Architects has amassed a diverse portfolio of residential, educational, and institutional properties incorporating social and environmental awareness.

Kevin Daly Architects has won numerous awards including the Rudy Bruner Foundation’s Gold Medal for Urban Excellence and the (American Institute of Architects (AIA) LA Firm of the Year Award in 2009. Over the years, the company has received over 30 awards from AIA. The firm’s designs and projects have also been featured in various publications such as Archinect, Urbanize LA, LA Times, New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, World Architecture News, and The Architectural Review.

The AIA-accredited firm caters to residential, academic, housing, workplace, public institutions. Its projects can be seen in various parts of the country. One of its popular projects is the Broadway Affordable Housing complex, designed to provide low-income families with affordable housing. The housing project will provide families with an environmentally, economically sustainable space.


Tighe Architecture

5757 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Tighe Architecture is a highly-acclaimed architectural firm in Los Angeles. The company is committed to creating authentic and contemporary designs using technology, innovation, and sustainability. Since its establishment, the firm has worked on different types of projects including affordable housing, commercial properties, mixed-use projects, interiors, and installations. The firm was founded by renowned architect, Patrick Tighe. Patrick is the recipient of the Mercedes T. Bass Rome Prize in Architecture, the American Institute of Architects’ Young Architect Award, and the 40 under 40 Award.

Tighe Architecture has received over 50 awards including recognitions in affordable housing. In 2020, the firm received the AIA Next LA Award and in 2017 the AIA Residential Award both under the Los Angeles Chapter. The firm’s works have been published in Newsweek, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, Global Architecture, The LA Times Magazine, and The New York Times. Its designs were also part of the latest edition of The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture.

Project by Tighe Architecture

One of the company’s noteworthy projects is Sierra Bonita Affordable Housing. Located in West Hollywood, the mixed-use affordable housing was designed to improve the housing shortage for residents with disabilities. The AIA-accredited firm caters to residential, multifamily, public institutions, research, and exhibits for Los Angeles residents and its nearby coastal cities.


Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

4106 West Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Established in 1994, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) is an architectural and urban design firm located in Los Angeles and Detroit. For 26 years the firm has worked on over 90 projects on three continents and has received more than 100 awards. Lorcan O’Herlihy’s passion for architecture led him to create a firm that is deeply rooted in social, political, and environmental consciousness. Lorcan was nominated to the Academy of Arts and Letters and has more than 100 national and international design awards.

Accredited with the AIA, the company offers architectural design services to residential, commercial, educational, cultural, adaptive reuse, and mixed-use projects. Though it mainly caters to the Los Angeles and Detroit market, LOHA also built projects across three continents. As the recipient of numerous awards, LOHA has become a reputable firm with its works published in over 20 countries.

Project by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects

In 2020, the firm was recognized with multiple awards, including the Multi-Unit Residential Citation Award from AIA LA, the Merit Award from AIA CA, the Overall Winner in The Plan Awards, and the Residential Design Award by Architect Magazine. In 2018, LOHA was named the #1 Design Firm in the U.S. by Architect Magazine. Its projects have been featured in the press including Architectural Record, Azure Magazine, Domus, LA Times, Architect’s Newspaper, Abitare, and Interior Design Magazine.


KTGY

433 S Spring St, Suite 750 Los Angeles, CA 90013

As a full-service architecture design and planning firm, KTGY offers a wide range of services on a national and international scale. It caters to residential, mixed-use, retail, planning, and hospitality industries. The firm was established to deliver innovative designs and solutions to clients as well as communities. With its scope of services and extensive experience, KTGY can work on any type of project regardless of the location or project size. The firm also offers interior design and branding services.

Run by Tricia Esser who serves as the firm’s CEO, KTGY houses a team of tenured architects and designers who are creative problem solvers. The firm is accredited with AIA, the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), Building Industry Association (BIA) Southern California, and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Its designs have been featured in the press including Architect Magazine, LA Times, Urban LA, and Dezeen.

Project by KTGY Architecture + Planning

KTGY earned numerous recognitions from the Golden Nuggets Awards. It received the Merit Awards for the Best Affordable Housing Community in 2019 and 2020 and won the Merit Award for Best Supportive/Transitional Housing in 2019. Overall, KTGY has won hundreds of awards since the firm was established. With its strong portfolio, the firm has earned its place as one of the leading architectural firms in L.A.


Relativity Architects

421 Colyton St, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Relativity Architects is a young, Los Angeles-based firm that fuses the physically built landscape and the cultural art world through creative urban design, architecture, interiors, rehabilitation, and graphic and art design commissions. Founded in 2013 by partners Tima Bell, Assoc. AIA, and Scott Sullivan, AIA, NCARB, the award-winning firm seeks to materialize inventive solutions into influential, evocative, and functional design projects and culturally relative architecture. Relativity Architects is a frequent collaborator with pioneering artists, consultants, and designers in the development of their projects across a diverse range of typologies, including motion picture and production studios, hospitality, institutional, affordable housing, multi-family, commercial, master planning, and residential.

Project by Relativity Architects

Relativity Architects has amassed several awards in the category of affordable housing. In 2020, the firm received the Architecture Masterprize Social Housing Award and became an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Award Finalist in the Jack Kemp Excellence In Affordable and Workforce Housing. Its work can also be seen in numerous publications including Hospitality Design, Archinect, LA Times, STIRWorld Magazine, and Architect Magazine. Relativity Architects is accredited with AIA, ULI, Asian American Architects & Engineers Association, and is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified.


KFA Architecture

3573 Hayden Ave, Culver City, CA 90232

Since its establishment in 1975, KFA Architecture has continued to provide architectural services throughout Los Angeles. Being in business for 45 years, the firm has deep roots in California and a broad understanding of the architecture and design industry in L.A. The firm uses a collaborative approach in each project regardless of requirement and size. KFA Architecture treats clients with the same dedication and passion while ensuring that the client’s visions are not only met, but exceeded.

Its projects encompass different segments including various types of housing for seniors, families, special needs, and affordable housing. Additionally, the firm caters to hotels, restaurants, educational institutions, and adaptive re-use. Wade Killefer founded KFA Architects and in 1988, the firm built its first affordable housing project. Over the years, KFA Architects has designed more than 4,000 affordable housing units for different developers in L.A. To date, the firm continues to work on various affordable housing projects for low-income families, veterans, seniors, and homeless individuals.

Project by KFA Architecture

KFA Architects has won numerous awards including the 2019 Multifamily Project of the Year at SCANPH Homes Within Reach Awards and in 2018, the President’s Award from the California Preservation Foundation. In 2016, KFA was named by AIA CA as the Firm of the Year. KFA Architects is a member of AIA and USGBC.


Abode Communities

1149 S Hill St, Suite 700 Los Angeles, CA 90015

Abode Communities was established in 1968 and since then has been providing architectural services throughout California. Catering to affordable housing, healthcare, education, mixed-use, and recreation, the firm remains deeply rooted in the community. It aims to provide a healthy and safe environment that individuals and families can benefit from. Abode Communities started as a non-profit organization made up of volunteer architects and designers. The organization is committed to providing social work geared towards creating functional, practical spaces for the community.

Over the years, it evolved into a professional architectural firm serving various types of community organizations. Its goal is to develop and preserve affordable housing institutions, wellness centers, healthcare centers, and childcare facilities. Aside from architectural services, Abode Communities also offers other services such as property management, real estate, and residential services.

Project by Abode Communities

In 2019, the firm was awarded the Multi-Family Project of the Year by the Southern California Association for Nonprofit Housing as well as the Community Impact Award by the Los Angeles Business Council. Some of its projects caught the attention of the press and were highlighted in Multi-Housing News, Curbed LA, Apartment Finance Today, Bisnow, and Builder Magazine. The firm is accredited with AIA, USGBC, Housing Partnership Network, and Housing California.


FSY Architects

2902 Knox Ave, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90039

As an internationally-renowned architectural firm, FSY Architects is recognized as a trailblazer in sustainable design. The firm combines the elements of design and construction that are safe for the environment. Its services cater to various industries including affordable housing, entertainment, education, civic, and cultural arts. With its comprehensive range of architectural and design-build services, FSY Architects extends its services abroad.

FSY Architects has over 50 years of combined experience with its dedicated and talented team of architects, designers, builders, and consultants. The firm also employs a group of technology experts working in Building Information Modeling (BIM) enabling the firm to create a more efficient and cost-effective system that clients can benefit from. FSY Architects also established a research department that deals with issues on technology, climate change, the urban environment, and homelessness.

Project by FSY Architects

The firm earned numerous awards for its design in the Lincoln Park Pool & Bathhouse. The project was awarded the 2020 Parks & Recreation Project of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) LA Section and the Outstanding Parks & Recreation Project by ASCE MLAB. The AIA and LEED Certified firm has also been featured in Green Home Builder Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, and Multi-Housing News.


Koning Eizenberg Architecture

1454 25th St, Second Floor, Santa Monica, California 90404

Santa Monica-based Koning Eizenberg Architecture has been providing architectural services in California since 1981. The firm continues to collaborate with various clients, developers, and cities to create and design housing developments for the community. Its aim is to improve the lives of the community by building a sustainable environment. The firm is composed of a design team that shares the goal of providing excellence in architecture.

With its innovative and award-winning works, Koning Eizenberg Architecture has been recognized by the national and international press including Bloomberg, LA Times, Dezeen, Metropolis Magazine, Curbed, and The Architect’s Newspaper. The firm has also earned more than 130 awards. In 2019, the firm received the AIA LA COTE Award as well as the USGBC-LA Sustainability Innovation Merit Award. That same year, Koning Eizenberg Architecture was presented with the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal.

Project by Koning Eizenberg Architecture

One of its projects worth mentioning is the 28th Street Apartments located in Los Angeles. The housing project exemplifies a Spanish Colonial Revival architecture built in the 1920s and designed as a recreational space for the African American community. Koning Eizenberg Architecture restored the building while maintaining key historical features of the structure. The building now serves as supportive housing catering to various community programs.


Brooks + Scarpa Architects

3939 W 139th St, Hawthorne, CA 90250

Brooks + Scarpa is a collaboration among the leading architects and designers in California. The firm has been recognized as one of the first architectural firms to provide a holistic approach to every project. The firm offers an extensive scope of services including architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, environmental design, and planning. Known for producing unique, sustainable designs, Brooks + Scarpa continues to be at the forefront of innovative architectural practices. The multi-disciplinary practice is heavily invested in design and research.

With its services reaching both national and international clients, the firm has nearly three decades of experience. Since its establishment in 1991, Brooks + Scarpa has worked on different types of projects including affordable housing, commercial, educational, and government properties. Over the years, the company has developed its expertise in designing unique and special structures.

Project by Brooks + Scarpa Architects

Recognized for its outstanding works, Brooks + Scarpa has been featured in various locations at home and abroad. Its projects have been displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Arts Los Angeles and Gwangju Biennale, South Korea. Brooks + Scarpa also gained attention from the press and was even featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Author

  • Jake Gustafson

    Jake has served as Senior Editor at Los Angeles Architects and brings a wealth of experience rooted in his passion for building. Holding a degree in Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University, he actively engaged in industry-related activities, including membership in the Associated General Contractors of America student chapter and participation in the Associated Schools in Construction student competition. Previously, Jake served as a project engineer for a prominent general contractor in Portland, where he played a pivotal role in various aspects of construction projects, from pre-construction to subcontractor management. His expertise extends to working on innovative projects, such as North America's largest CLT commercial building. Expertise: Commercial Construction, Commercial Remodeling, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Editor at Los Angeles Architects, Project Engineer for Portland-based general contractor, Field Engineer for the largest CLT commercial building in North America Education: Oregon State University, Degree in Construction Engineering Management