Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 3.53.14 PMLocation: Long Beach, Calif.
Architect: Studio One Eleven
Developer: Meta Housing Corp.
Builder:Cobalt Construction
Number of units: 200
Unit mix:Studios, one- and two-bedrooms
Rents: $441 to $1,072

A creative palette of funding sources and a flair for design made the Long Beach Senior Arts Colony a masterpiece.

Designed by Studio One Eleven, the four-building project’s architecture was inspired by the community’s proximity to the beach, employing colorfully painted cement-board siding, exposed burnished blocks, and a tower element reminiscent of a lifeguard station.

Due to the scale of the development, the goal was to design several buildings with varying character. The building heights are maximized to define their urban edges while stepping down the massing when adjacent to residential neighborhoods. A mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom units ranges from 456 to 1,075 square feet.

Each unit was designed for individual outdoor privacy with large balconies, accessible through French doors. The interiors feature granite counters, birch cabinets, vinyl bamboo plank flooring, and sisal carpeting for a warm, contemporary style.

Situated on 1.66 acres, the buildings share a main courtyard with views of Long Beach. A second courtyard features a dog park, barbecues, and a community garden. The design team chose interior amenities that engage the spirit and creativity of an active lifestyle, including art studios, a 99-seat theater, a community room, a library, and an art gallery.

Because of the development’s location across the street from a transit station and the locale’s numerous amenities, developer Meta Housing Corp. received $25 million in state funding and $12 million in city money. The 200-unit affordable housing community received funds from the Long Beach Housing Development Co. and local grants for transit-oriented development and infrastructure, plus both 9 percent and 4 percent low-income housing tax credits.