For a new multifamily development in a neighborhood of predominantly single-story homes in Los Angeles, local multidisciplinary architecture studio M-Rad made community-focused living its predominant design focus--both for incoming residents and for existing neighbors.

The striking geometric front of Hello Saturn is designed to accommodate its 45 affordable apartments without crowding out existing homes or blocking natural light. Each level is staggered in rectangular blocks from one to four stories tall. The tallest sides of the structure back on areas where dense construction already existed, while the open front faces the single-story neighborhood.

“I once lived three blocks away, so it really hit home for me personally in terms of how we can learn to be a little more respectful in the massing of these new buildings,” says Matthew Rosenberg, founder and CEO of M-Rad. “We wanted to bow and press down this corner of the building, so it didn’t feel so massive to the community at the corner. And then we cut out a mass of courtyard at the center.”

All of Hello Saturn’s units have ample exposure to natural light as a result, and each one features a massive terrace or balcony. M-Rad intends to work with a vertical garden company to install vertical gardens on each of the terraces, and plans to instruct residents on how to grow their own vegetables in them.

Rosenberg’s hope is that the community’s open courtyards and gardens will invite its tenants to socialize with one another, and foster a true sense of community between them.

“It’s always impossible to say how people will accept the building or not accept the building,” he says. “But I hope that residents become happier, and can actually interact and try new opportunities for collision. Moreso because the terraces in this building look out on each other, and you can have these interactions between neighbors.”

The community is currently under construction and set to open in July of 2020.