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”
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.
January 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Berlin Parklet – Rendering
The parklets we’ve designed for three local businesses have been getting a lot of attention lately, and we’re ecstatic that it has been overwhelmingly positive! Media outlets from the local Long Beach Press Telegram and Grunion Gazette, to the regional LA Times and even ABC 7 Eyewitness News, have covered what will be the first parklets in Southern California.
Things are progressing quickly; the first parklet – in front of Lola’s Mexican Cuisine – was completed in only three days by JR Van Dijs, and the one and a half stalls that were lost have been replaced nearby through curbside restriping. Next on the agenda will be Berlin Bistro, and then finally Number Nine, with 5-9 permanent jobs anticipated in all! (For all the latest updates and progress photos, follow us on Twitter @studioneleven.)
Lola’s Parklet – Daily Progress (Finished Photos Coming Soon!)
These small structures are private investments by the business owners and do not utilize any taxpayer dollars, but we love the enthusiasm we’ve seen from the community. We’re hoping they will not only create more visibility for the businesses, but also lead to big improvements in sidewalk culture. We’re encouraged that these parklets will be yet another step toward making Long Beach more walkable, and we’re looking forward to watching the street come alive!
For more information, see our previous blog: Revolutionizing the Road – Parklets on 4th Street.
November 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
On October 8, 2011, Studio One Eleven and Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI) hosted the third and final public workshop for our traffic calming plan in Virgil Village. Returning to the location of our first workshop, we occupied the northeast corner of the Santa Monica/Virgil intersection and created a temporary plaza for the afternoon. The event once again attracted a broad cross-section of participants, with over seventy of the neighborhood’s residents and stakeholders in attendance. Many expressed their appreciation for this shared decision-making process and were prepared to voice their opinions on how the improvements should be prioritized.
Using cones and potted citrus trees to delineate the edge, pedestrian space was created within the right turn pocket created by the acute angle of the intersecting streets. Right-turning automobile traffic still managed to flow smoothly, and pedestrians appreciated the easier street-crossing allowed by the extended plaza. Sawhorses displayed over a dozen presentation boards that helped illustrate the progress we’ve made – with the community’s help – and to provide a context for the “Preferred Street Design” for Virgil Avenue.
October 31, 2011 § Leave a comment
On October 22, the local chapters of the AIA and USGBC co-hosted “The Growing Experience,” a panel and tour dedicated to urban farms in our communities. Michael Bohn, principal at Studio One Eleven, was one of four presenters at the event which also featured Kathleen Irvine, farm manager of New City School; Jimmy Ng, project manager of The Growing Experience; and Jeffrey Biben, architect of Carmelitos Urban Garden.
Presenting to AIA and USGBC members, students and supporters of urban farming, the panel focused on the role of architecture in urban farms. The presentation was followed by a tour of The Growing Experience, an active seven-acre urban farm located in north Long Beach within the Carmelitos Housing Development. The farm is operated by the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles and food is made available to the community and local restaurants through the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program.
October 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
Studio One Eleven recently welcomed students from the USC School of Architecture third-year design studio for a critique of their mid-semester projects. Rather than hosting design critiques in the classroom, the professors encourage moving away from campus and into the professional environment. In doing so, students have the opportunity to engage with professionals and experience working studios.
As part of the School of Architecture Housing Studio coursework, students conduct two projects during the housing topic semester. In this assignment (the first of the two), students were tasked to design a four-unit residential development on an infill property in South Pasadena. Each student was assigned a different parcel with varied context, access, solar orientation, and site proportions, necessitating unique design approaches.
In addition to the studio professors and two additional professors, our own Michael Bohn and Brian Ulaszewski participated in the critique. “The design solutions presented by the students were very diverse and thoughtful,” remarked Michael Bohn, AIA, Principal at Studio One Eleven. “We appreciated that the projects were infill in nature, adjacent to transit, and in an established neighborhood” This type of development will continue to be important in allowing the region to grow and at the same time serve as an opportunity to revitalize neighborhoods. Read more…
August 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
Above, catch a glimpse of the workshop in action.
On Saturday, August 6, Studio One Eleven and Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI) hosted the second of three public workshops for a traffic calming plan in the Virgil Village area of Los Angeles. We again decided to forgo the typical “town meeting” format and instead set-up shop in front of Amalia’s Guatemalan Restaurant on Virgil Avenue between Melrose Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. (which we highly recommend, by the way). Bringing our traffic calming presentation out to the street has allowed us to reach a diverse cross-section of community members, including many who are not typically engaged in the public process but have genuine concerns and a vested interest in what happens on this street. Read more…