LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless
 

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless

on a site in southern los angeles, lorcan o’herlihy architects (LOHA) has realized MLK1101 supportive housing – a project that provides 26 units of permanent and affordable residences to formerly homeless veterans, chronically homeless individuals, and low-income households. the complex, which was envisioned alongside client, clifford beers housing, aims to support the city’s most vulnerable population while also creating a sustainable architecture that promotes healthier lifestyles and community integration.  

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

all images by paul vu, iwan baan

 

 

in 2019, the number of homeless people in los angeles county rose to over 58,000. with the aim of alleviating this major social issue, LOHA‘s latest project has transformed a vacant lot in the city into an uplifting housing community for formerly homeless individuals. the design for MLK1101, which also boasts LEED gold certification, aims to create an environment that prioritizes health and community, resulting in successful social spaces through a variety of planned and organic strategies.

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

 

 

LOHA has incorporated several design strategies that open the building up towards the street and foster a sense of community within the neighborhood. the design team opted for an l-shaped typology that allows each apartment to receive sunlight and cross ventilation, reducing the need for heating, cooling, and artificial light, and allowing for the inclusion of an elevated green patio for residents to relax and socialize away from the noise of the street.

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

 

 

MLK1101 supportive housing employs the latest strategies in environmentally responsible, forward-thinking green design to maximize space and benefit the entire community. the building was certified LEED gold thanks to the integration of high-efficiency heating and cooling, appliances and fixtures, solar water heating, electric vehicle charging and bike parking.

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

 

 

at street level LOHA’s design capitalizes on the requirement for on-site parking by creating an elevated community garden and social hub for residents and neighbors, that sits atop the street level parking. in order to establish a street presence, the parking is tucked behind a storefront space and a widened staircase that connects the street to the community spaces one level up. this stoop is a gathering space and a public gesture, encouraging the types of resident and neighborhood interaction often missing in social housing.

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

 

 

the goal of the two retail units at street level is to generate income that will help subsidize the housing while providing workforce training to residents so that they can transition back into society. the units are designed for individuals and families, ranging in size from one to three bedrooms each with their own bathroom, and all are equipped with kitchens and living spaces. tenants are encouraged to use the shared amenities in the community room, which has shared kitchen and dining areas for cooking classes, potlucks, group therapy, and other planned / impromptu gatherings.

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

 

 

an outdoor garden with drought-tolerant plants and raised-bed edible gardens connects the community room to the living spaces, giving residents a place to relax and socialize. all the residential units are accessed through exterior walkways. while the unit layouts are efficiently identical on each floor, the walkways vary in width for a more dynamic, staggered elevation and to create more informal gathering spaces and opportunities for people to socialize.

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

 

 

having previously worked with clifford beers housing, and other supportive housing organizations like the skid row housing trust, LOHA’s design acknowledges the successful track record these housing complexes have had with integrating various populations, bringing supportive services in-house, and creating uplifting living environments for people to thrive.

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom  

LOHA transforms a vacant lot in los angeles into housing for the formerly homeless designboom  

 

 

project info:

 

project name: MLK1101 supportive housing

location: los angeles, CA, united states

program: 26-unit affordable housing with street-level community space, supportive services, and community garden

architect: lorcan o’herlihy architects (LOHA)

design team: lorcan o’herlihy (principal-in-charge), santiago tolosa, nick hopson, ghazal khezri, chris gassaway, christopher lim, dana lydon

client: clifford beers housing

size: 34,000 ft2 (3158.7 m2) with 4,000 ft2 (371.6 m2) parking space

status: completed in 2019

photography: paul vu, iwan baan

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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