Zinnia Family Housing
Signal Hill, CA
Contributing to a Convenient, Healthy, and Sustainable lifestyle for Affordable Housing Residents
Project Details


Signal Hill, CA

Practice Theme

Housing For All

What We Did

Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Affordable Housing


1.6 acres
Over one-quarter of the property is dedicated to usable open space which includes a central green for flexible activities, a patio adjacent to the community room, a children’s tot lot, a dog park, and a communal garden

Zinnia Apartments is the first affordable family housing community to be completed in Signal Hill since 2007. The LEED Gold certified project consists of seventy-two units and exemplifies a high-quality affordable development that positively contributes to the surrounding historic neighborhood. Zinnia’s convenient location promotes walking and cycling to nearby retail, parks, civic amenities such as City Hall and the library­­­, public transit, employment opportunities and schools, encouraging a healthy and sustainable lifestyle for residents.

The site is in a transitional zone between residential neighborhoods located to the north and east and commercial districts to the south and west. Designed at a neighborhood village scale, the development is conceived as three distinct buildings that vary in height on this heavily sloped site, with the tallest structure located at the lowest elevation to minimize blocking adjacent views. Eighty parking stalls are concealed from view by being tucked under buildings or located at the low point of the site. Forty-two bicycle spaces within a full-service bike kitchen are provided.



The building forms and roofs, brick, board cladding, and clerestory windows are inspired by the history of saw-tooth industrial and agricultural buildings in Signal Hill. To blend in with the low-scale character of the neighborhood, much of the taller massing is set back and screened with landscaping, interlocking townhomes were used, and an iconic one-story community room enlivens the public edge of the project.  Residential patios, porches, and balconies serve to further activate open areas and the street beyond.

Zinnia Family Housing was included in the Gateway Council of Cities Case Studies, which highlighted examples of successful solutions for affordable housing.



Gold Nugget Merit Award

Westside Urban Forum Award


City of Signal Hill Beautification Award

Homes Within Reach Awards, Honorable Mention

SCANPH Design Awards Honorable Mention

Signal Hill Celebrates Zinnia, a New 72-unit Affordable-Housing Complex

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to enhancing
city life.