La Ramona Morales Memorial Apartments


Benson , AZ
United States
31° 58' 4.2996" N, 110° 17' 40.2612" W
Arizona US

Located in a small rural town in southeastern Arizona, these apartments have 30 units for the elderly and people with disabilities who typically pay 25 percent of their monthly incomes for rent. At 402 square feet, the units are quite small, but they are set around a common outdoor area. Architect Jody Gibbs of the Tucson Community Development/Design Center stated that because of the desert climate with high temperatures and scant rainfall, he had designed other Arizona housing with individual courtyards. The tree-lined common area is defined by the three entry gates and acts as a shaded interior street typical of desert regions. Because the grade changes by 10 feet from the west to the east of the site, each group of four units shares a tree-shaded level area which acts as a courtyard. Each such area is connected to the next level by a ramp. The construction technology is tilt-up concrete with 4-1/2-inch thick walls cast with patterns in various colors drawn from regional textiles, pottery and woodcarving. This use of standard technology to enrich simple forms demonstrates that housing for people with low incomes need not be aesthetically impoverished, but can incorporate the dignity and richness of local cultures.

Dwelling Type: 
Number of Units: