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…


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…

Reimaging Urban Infrastructure

March 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Long Beach branch of the US Green Building Council recently hosted a panel discussion on the future of urban infrastructure. The standing-room only event was held in the solarium perched atop the historic Sovereign Building, which provided panoramic views of Downtown Long Beach and the coastline. The three speakers included Studio One Eleven’s Brian Ulaszewski, Stantec Transportation Engineer and Institute of Traffic Engineers President Rock Miller, and Madeline Brozen from the Complete Streets Initiative at UCLA’s Lewis Center.

The discussion ranged in scale from temporary street interventions like parklets to freeway cap projects and removal, all focused on using infrastructure to better serve the needs of people. Concepts such as protected bike lanes, roundabouts, and areas of refuge were identified as facilities that can be transposed onto existing street networks to promote active forms of mobility, while electricity transmission corridors and stormwater management systems could be used to create new open space.

Bulb-outs and parklets contribute to a more human-scale. Read more…

We Like to Jam

January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

…especially during the holidays. Fortunately for us, we have our very own in-house DJ! DJ Arkatekt is a double-threat; architect by day and DJ by night, every year he puts together an awesome track to help us celebrate the holiday season. We all pick songs we like – this year was an 80’s theme –and Arkatekt does the rest, weaving them together and filling in the blanks to create an awesome single track that we can listen to throughout the holiday season. But this is not your grandmother’s holiday mix – no bells jingling or chestnuts roasting, this track is meant to be enjoyed all year long! The playlist in progress – 80’s style.

Here’s a little bit from the Arkatekt himself:

“This is something that is definitely planned out, not done overnight.  Strategy is involved from going through the song choices (which is why I ask for 3 options from each person), listening to the tracks, and doing MULTIPLE test mixes to see what songs blend together with others cleanly. After all this is complete, I then use another program to ‘Master’ the volumes so that it is a clean listen.

Like architecture, that’s the way I like to approach my mixes!
Thorough and thought out…PROCESS!”

And now, this year’s track listing: Read more…

Season’s Greetings Through the Years

December 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

We look forward to sending a holiday greeting to our friends and colleagues at the end of each year. It’s a small gesture that lets them know we appreciate them and wish nothing but the best in the year to come. It’s also an opportunity to share a little piece of ourselves, because each card is a moment in time reflecting where we are, where we’ve been, and who we are as a studio. Looking back, we’ve had a few great ones.

Happy Holidays to all of our wonderful blog readers. May your year be full of bright ideas.

Studio One Eleven Hosts USC Architecture Student Review

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…

Shanghai (Finally) Embraces Adaptive Reuse

October 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

With our work extending globally, some of us recently traveled to China. What we found was fascinating: a fully-functioning identity crisis where thousands of years of tradition coexist with modern thought in a unique urban community that is evolving in fast-forward.

We spent the majority of our time in Shanghai, which, due to China’s recent economic boom, is developing at a dizzying rate. In the 1950’s, the urban area of Shanghai was 82.4 square kilometers; now, it is approximately 3924.24 square kilometers and growing. In 60 years, it has multiplied almost 50 times! This rapid development has often caused the city to cut corners, which has resulted in the demolition of many high-quality old buildings to make way for crudely constructed new ones. The city has been virtually scraped clean of any of its architectural history, but there are some notable exceptions.
Read more…

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