Revitalizing with Sensitivity

March 7, 2011 § 2 Comments

Andy Street – Existing elevation with a tired, uninviting, windowless façade.

As the Housing Development Company’s urban, architectural, and landscape design consultant, we at Studio One Eleven were recently approached with a couple of façade improvement projects in Long Beach. Andy Street and Atlantic Avenue, though many miles apart, held the same primary challenge: namely, how to freshen a 1950’s modern building into both a better place to live and a better neighbor to the surrounding community.

Through diverse materials, color, new windows, varied roof parapets, and landscaping, we updated the blank walls, faded paint, and dated components – all while respecting and enhancing the modern style of the existing buildings in a cost-sensitive manner.
Andy Street – Perspective illustrating enhanced design.
Andy Street – Second option perspective.

While looking at the building plans, we found that additional windows could be added in strategic locations, allowing for both more natural light and increased security (“eyes on the street”). A simple palette of fresh materials and colors helps to give the buildings their own individual characters, while the inclusion of contemporary signage, lighting, and details respects the modern style in which they were built. Landscaping compliments the architecture and enhances the attractiveness of the projects, and the incorporation of new street trees in existing parkways and landscaped parkways at too-wide sidewalks improves the public right-of-way and allows these projects to contribute to the surrounding neighborhood.
Atlantic Ave – Existing elevation and public right of way.

Atlantic Avenue – Perspective of proposed design.


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§ 2 Responses to Revitalizing with Sensitivity

  • Paula says:


    Will each unit on Andy be upgraded? If so, how long will it take?

    • The exterior façade and landscape improvements will be done on only one four-unit apartment building on Andy Street. However, this building (one of 24 identical ones on the block) will serve as an example to the other owners on how reinvestment into their properties can improve the neighborhood and, ultimately, property values. This fact will hopefully inspire them to follow suit with their own properties.

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