COVID-19 threat fast tracks homeless housing projects
Two schemes by LOHA brought forward for construction in Los Angeles
The ongoing threat of COVID-19 to the homeless population of Los Angeles has put two housing projects by LOHA Architects on the fast track to construction. The Isla Intersections project in South Los Angeles and the Midnight Mission renovation in Skid Row will both be breaking ground in the coming weeks.
Midnight Mission is a pioneering emergency service, which has provided aid to the homeless since 1914. LOHA has re-designed the facility’s existing courtyard to create a safe day space for Skid Row residents. Interior renovations will include an expansion of the health clinic, learning centre, library, and barbershop, together with temporary shelter capacity for weather-related events.
The Isla Intersections Supportive Housing and Annenberg Paseo project began when the city authorities made 1,700 parcels of land available to affordable housing developers. Many of these challenging sites are situated alongside heavy traffic corridors. In collaboration with non-profit developer Clifford Beers Housing, LOHA designed a 54-unit housing project and adjacent paseo within close proximity to one of the world’s busiest road interchanges.
The project consists of sixteen staggered boxes, assembled from three modular containers. The units are stacked into towers connected by a series of walkways, enclosing a sequence of pocket parks. While the project is predominantly residential and green space, the ground level along the paseo will provide a number of storefronts for retail, incubation, job training and support services. Rooftop farms and edible gardens will become part of a larger network of urban farms in the area.
LOHA states, “We are living in a time where the City is willing to embrace these kinds of forgotten spaces and the ideas that they give birth to. And at a time when the city is desperate for answers to the housing crisis, we as architects can have a say in how things play out over the next decade.”
TenderStream Head of Research