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 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…
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…
June 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
Over the past weekend, Studio One Eleven and Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI) hosted a public workshop for a traffic calming plan in the Virgil Village area of LA. To illustrate our point, we created a temporary plaza by shutting down a turn pocket at the southwest corner of Virgil Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. The event drew nearly a hundred participants and provided the design team with a wealth of valuable information from community members who navigate Virgil Avenue on a daily basis.
The idea to convene our workshop in this temporary plaza was developed to break away from the usual format of most community outreach forums; instead of holding an evening meeting in a community center removed from the subject at hand, we chose to engage the public where the relevant issues could be discussed more tangibly. Essentially, we wanted an event that reached more constituents – specifically the ones who are directly affected by the current conditions. Read more…