Type: Adaptive Reuse, Office to Affordable Housing
The Santa Ana Arts Collective is a former mid-century bank and office building converted to affordable housing for artists and their families. Featuring ground floor live/work units, townhomes, a community room and a public art gallery, the landscape flows into and connects all of these spaces, organized into a public plaza, gardens, courtyards and paseos.
The heart of the project is a corner plaza, designed around the retention of several existing mature palm trees. The art gallery opens onto the space, creating an outdoor venue for community art events
Once a surface parking lot over a subterranean parking garage, the central courtyard has been transformed into lush garden with a citrus bosque and children’s play area. Raised planters filled with drought tolerant Olive trees and succulents enclose the play area featuring sculptural climbing structures and seating for parents to watch their children.
Adjacent to the play area is an edible garden, providing an opportunity to learn, grow food and engage in a healthy lifestyle. New street trees at the sidewalks, sustainable planting design and private patios at the ground floor, beautify the street edges and provide additional open space for residents.
The Santa Ana Arts Collective opened in early 2020, and was immediately fully occupied. This award winning project has become an example of the possibility of adaptive reuse and affordable housing in Orange County.