Joint Venture: Ultra-Unit Architectural Studio / MINARC (


Project Name: Celeste Apartments
Project Address: 14307 Friar St.
Van Nuys, Ca. 91401
48,000 SF
30 Unit Apartment Building w / low income components
Completed date estimated 5/2020

Inspired by the dramatic landscapes found in nature and it’s surrounding environment, this simple eco-conscious design is focused on functionality and creating a healthy breathing family environment for this new affordable multifamily housing in Los Angeles.
The building, with four full residential floors above grade, has balconies that project out and incorporate an aesthetically pleasing visual screen that fills the space with a syncopated rhythm of shading device while also being a functional roof drainage for the building.

A profusion of natural light streams through expansive windows as the building conveys transparency and light, though it incorporates a variety of security measures to protect the residents. To accomplish the openness, utilization of floor-to-ceiling windows, and abundant glass panels were employed. Within a single unit, the glazing from the screen makes for dramatic shifts in perspective, creating a domestic space that’s anything but static.

This courtyard building features a Brise Soleil for shading while creating undulating facades on all four sides and a third floor roof garden where residence can grow their own vegetables

The goal was to maximize a tight site to meet program needs and create gracious residential and community spaces.

Market-rate and subsidized units share the same high-quality finishes, and were not compromised for the cause of being low-income housing.