Sketch of the Week: Pacoima

April 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

This week’s sketch is a site plan from a project we are working on in Pacoima, CA. The concept is to turn a collection of largely vacant buildings on the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and San Fernando Road (totaling 16,000 square feet) into a bustling center of retail and restaurants organized around a series of outdoor paseos.

Studio One Eleven Hosts “A Morning With Fred Kent”

April 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

On March 22nd, our office had the opportunity to host a talk with Fred Kent, President of Project for Public Spaces (PPS). Organized by our friend Charlie Gandy of Livable Communities, Fred spoke to a group of community activists and leaders about his experiences in place making and creating sustainable communities.

Many of his concepts resonate with our approach to design:

“The best places fix and redefine themselves around authentic local values and assets”

“Incremental steps (what PPS calls ‘smaller, faster, cheaper’), not grand plans, are the way to sustained success”

“When you design a place around cars, you get more cars. When you design a place around people, you get more people”

Read more…

Sketch of the Week: West Valley Towers

March 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

This week’s sketch is of West Valley Towers in Van Nuys, CA. The redesigned visitors entry incorporates an existing tree and provides a new steel trellis, screen planting, and a water feature to direct guests into the project.

Long Beach Needs More Creative Office Space

March 26, 2012 § 2 Comments

We occasionally invite guests to contribute to our blog. This week, Toliver Morris – considered by many as the Long Beach Office Expert – has kindly shared his perspective on the need for more creative office space in Long Beach, CA. He and his family reside within the city, and he cares greatly about the community. Toliver can be contacted or followed via his informative website/blog at www.LongBeachOffice.net.

Cie Studios, Long Beach (Gensler, courtesy of Toliver Morris.)

As a commercial broker who focuses on helping companies with their office needs in Long Beach and surrounding areas, the question I’m asked most often is: “Is there any really cool, creative, loft-type space?”. Unfortunately, the answer too often is “no” or “very little”. The vast majority of office space in Long Beach (even in cool, old buildings) is boring, generic, uninspired, tired, “vanilla” space – blegh!

A relatively historic city for the West Coast, Long Beach could (and should) have an abundance of creative/tech space. Even traditional companies prefer interesting, cool office space over hum-drum vanilla, but creative companies absolutely require it. Creatives prefer to office in urban, safe, pedestrian environments with character and history, as well as numerous amenities. If executives and employees of those creative companies can live nearby, either in affordable urban or dynamic suburban enclaves, even better. Long Beach is the perfect place. Read more…

Sketch of the Week: Formosa South at The Lot

March 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

This week’s sketch features a detail from our Formosa South project. Located at The Lot Movie Studio in West Hollywood, Formosa South is a five story, poured-in-place concrete office building that’s currently winding its way through plan check, with construction slated to start later this spring. The building is the first phase of a larger scale master plan aimed at creating an integrated media, technology, and entertainment production campus on the historic movie studio site.

The detail in context.

Incremental Urbanism

March 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Recently, we were asked to share our perspective at a community event focused on the state of downtown Long Beach’s urban framework. The following is an excerpt from the presentation:

During these challenging economic times, and with the loss of redevelopment agencies, we’ve been impressed by the resilience of both downtown and its adjacent neighborhoods. Organic small-scale improvements (what we refer to as incremental urbanism) are collectively having a positive impact on our environment and support the city’s desire to be more sustainable and healthy. These improvements can be organized into three categories:

1. Adaptive Reuse

Approaching urban renewal by purchasing adjacent individual lots and clear-cutting buildings for block size development has now become cost-prohibitive, resulting in an increased interest in reuse. Excellent examples of unique building stock that has been re-positioned include 4th + Linden, 420 Fourth Street, and the Arts Building on Third Street.
Read more…

Sketch of the Week: Long Beach Airport

March 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

Sketch showing one of our initial ideas for the soon-to-be completed Long Beach Airport Terminal Improvement project. We were selected to design all of the retail and restaurant shops at the new terminal buildings, and we couldn’t be more excited to be involved in this ground-breaking endeavor.

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