FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
The new Star Apartments for the Skid Row Housing Trust transforms an existing one-story commercial building in downtown Los Angeles into a mixed-used complex with 102 apartments for formerly homeless individuals. Located at 6th Street and Maple Avenue along the border of Skid Row, the project sets a new model for urbanism and increased density by remodeling an existing 1-story building and adding new community spaces and residential levels above.
The six-story, 95,000 sf building expands upon the Skid Row Housing Trust’s model of providing permanent supportive housing within the downtown core by incorporating a new type of shared public space within the building. The building is organized around three principal spatial zones stacked one upon the other: a retail zone at street level; a second level for community programs; and four terraced floors of residences above.
Not only is the integration of retail, social services, community recreational facilities and residential units a unique building program, but the project utilizes an innovative new construction methodology. Faced with a limited budget and tight schedule the design team determined that prefabricated modules lifted into place over the existing podium would ensure a higher quality of construction, meet tighter construction tolerances, and dramatically accelerate construction time, producing a parallel reduction in cost. Star Apartments will be the first mixed-use, multi-unit residential project for formerly homeless individuals employing this construction method in Los Angeles. Additionally, through this innovative approach the project is on target to be certified Gold as a LEED for Homes Pilot Project, with factory fabrication ensuring compliance with energy savings.