Los Angeles, California
Community-Driven Arts District Rejuvenation
Take the everyday experience of “home” and break the line between routine and extraordinary. A place for living becomes a sanctuary for community. A lively social center integrates into a hub of the residential experience.
This apartment building will serve as the local cultural staple for the Los Angeles Arts District. Located at the terminus of Traction Avenue, the public-access storefront and cafe will invite pedestrian traffic while maintaining the established urban edge. Sharing a border with busy 4th Street creates a daily moment of awe for regular commuters and passersby.
The final product is a successful integration of residential spaces into a public, community-driven domain rather than the more orthodox separation.
This project was a first foray into urban design and the many accommodations that must be made in designs because of it. Curb appeal meets practicality. Commercial meets residential. The existing SCI-Arch parking lot is imaginatively re-purposed in an effort to reinvigorate the formerly-vibrant Arts District of Los Angeles. A lost sense of community will be returned and a whole district will be inspired to rise to its former glory.
The use of concrete creates a dramatic contrast as the individual floors appear to defy gravity above each of the community deck spaces.
The key element of this apartment block is its intentional inclusion of the surrounding community. Gathering spaces with top-notch views of downtown L.A. invite residents and neighbors alike to enjoy each others' company in the temperate southern California air.
Four sculptural walls keep excessive road noise away, which is quite a premium in Los Angeles. Not only do these elements provide acoustical privacy, but they also create intimate greenspace gathering locations for residents and the community alike in the midst of the "concrete jungle."
The ground level of the residential block maintains Los Angeles' iconic urban edge by hosting a small store as well as a coffee shop that aid in blurring the line between public and private spaces.