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Drawing, Step Up on Fifth: Santa Monica, CA: Sketch of Elevation

This is a Drawing. It was designed by Brooks + Scarpa, Angela Brooks and Larry Scarpa. It is dated ca. 2009 and we acquired it in 2015. Its medium is pen and black ink, color pencil on tracing paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Step Up on Fifth, located in the heart of downtown Santa Monica, is a five-story affordable housing complex built to offer support services and rehabilitation for the local homeless and mentally disabled population. Completed in 2009 by Los Angeles-based architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa, the building, a former parking structure, integrates 46 studio apartments with ground-level commercial space.[1] The design utilizes sustainable and recycled materials, including pressed aluminum cans as cladding. During construction, nearly 75 percent of all materials were recycled, while recycled insulation, carpeting and all-natural lineoleum flooring suggest an overall commitment to resource conservation. Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the facility is its multi-colored perforated screens that cover the east and south sides of the structure. The custom jet-anodized aluminum panels, in shades of yellow, sage, olive and purple,[2] give residents ample privacy from the busy neighborhood surroundings and give the geometric shape of the building a subtly irregular texture. [3] Open courtyards on the second floor are similarly protected from full street exposure by screens made of galvalume, a steel material coated in a zinc-aluminum alloy. These screens offer important energy saving opportunities by maximizing prevailing winds, daylight and natural ventilation. [4]
Winner of the 2010 National AIA Institute Housing Innovation Award and the 2010 National AIA Institute Award in Architecture, the Step Up on Fifth project emphasizes cost-efficient and sustainable materials in its design and exemplifies Brooks + Scarpa’s commitment to engaging with the social, ethical, cultural and ecological issues of our time. As the team writes, “We believe that architecture cannot escape active engagement in the issues and conditions of our contemporary society.” [5] This rendering alludes to the architects’ process, which first considers the natural and built environs of a place before proposing a complimentary aesthetic perspective. As the team considers a range of innovative materials and how those materials may fit into the overall surroundings, a design begins to take shape. Here, the irregular shapes imposed by metal screens give the building a unique geometric texture.

This object was donated by Brooks + Scarpa. It is credited Gift of Brooks + Scarpa.

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Its dimensions are

H x W: 30.8 × 46.4 cm (12 1/8 × 18 1/4 in.)

It is inscribed

Inscribed in pencil, lower right: Step Up On Fifth Santa Monica, CA

Cite this object as

Drawing, Step Up on Fifth: Santa Monica, CA: Sketch of Elevation; Designed by Brooks + Scarpa, Angela Brooks (American), Larry Scarpa (American, b. 1959); pen and black ink, color pencil on tracing paper; H x W: 30.8 × 46.4 cm (12 1/8 × 18 1/4 in.); Gift of Brooks + Scarpa; 2015-40-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design: Recent Acquisitions.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Drawing, Step Up on Fifth: Santa Monica, CA: Sketch of Elevation |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=1 April 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>