Kalos is located in the urban neighborhood of North Park, San Diego and is within walking distance of high-use public transit lines, major employment centers and neighborhood amenities.  The design inspiration behind this project was not only to create an affordable and transit-oriented housing community but also to design an environment that supports a sustainable and healthy lifestyle for its residents.



Design an affordable housing building within a highly dense urban neighborhood without sacrificing quality of living and sense of community. The building design must also accommodate a slope equivalent to three floors making it a considerable design challenge.



The physical challenge of the slope provided many benefits: easy access to underground parking and a unique ability to set the courtyard level a floor below the street level which allowed this four story building to become only three levels on the street.  This helped to preserve the scale at the street level and views from surrounding properties.


The design concept to achieve a healthy, livable community was centered around a palette of light, air, space, and color.  The building was orientated to allow pass through cooling from the natural coastal breeze and the interior air and light wells were designed to help facilitate additional cross ventilation. Large windows support the concept of light and space allowing for the units to be filled with natural sunlight. Large sections of various exterior walls have splashes of bright colors creating a sense of airiness and light throughout the entire building.



Kalos is an award winning, LEED Platinum Certified affordable housing community consisting of 83 one, two and three bedroom dwelling units. The use of photo-voltaic solar panels, ENERGY STAR® appliances, hydronic heating and natural cross ventilation in lieu of air conditioning helped to achieve this certification. 


The design of the building was central to offering healthy amenities and creating a sense of community for its residents.  Features include two large recreational courtyards, community and reading rooms center with kitchen, computer lab, children’s library and teen center, laundry room and bike storage.


Project Details
Type Affordable Multi Family Housing
Client Community HousingWorks
Location San Diego, CA
Size 83 units
Services New Construction
Completed 2013
Design Team
Mark Steele
Steve Miles
Awards 2013 U.S. Green Building Council for LEED for Homes Outstanding Affordable Project of the Year
  2014 San Diego Housing Federation SDG&E Efficiency and Sustainability Ruby Award