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.


WoodWorks Tour of Long Beach Senior Art Colony

March 5, 2012 § Leave a comment


Last weekend, our Long Beach Senior Art Colony project was included in a tour of wood framed buildings under construction around Southern California.  Sponsored by WoodWorks, the tour highlighted Type V and Type III wood construction and asked the question, “Why wood?”

Long Beach Senior Art Colony involves two adjacent senior housing components with shared amenities: a 161 unit Senior Arts Colony (SAC), a community focused on continued learning, creative arts, and fitness, and an adjacent building, the Arts Annex (AA). The AA contains 39 units of additional affordable senior housing. The SAC and AA components include, respectively, five and three stories of wood framing over one story of concrete plus mezzanine. The SAC building forms a south facing courtyard, providing solar access while collecting cool ocean breezes. Within the courtyard is a freestanding community performing arts theater, which is the focal point of the project. A second courtyard, accessible to residents in both phases of the development, will have a dog park, expansive lawn and community gardens. Once completed, the project will have 200 units of housing. Read more…

Efficiently Stabilizing Neighborhoods

July 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sometimes, stabilizing a neighborhood can be as simple as consolidating adjacent properties. This strategy utilizes land more efficiently, which can enhance common space and greatly improve the quality of the community, and is illustrated by the Long Beach Housing Development Company‘s recent acquisition of three apartment buildings in central Long Beach.

Located on a troubled street, many of the apartment buildings in this area were built in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and responded to a growing senior community. Now, however, the demographics have shifted to include families with young children, and many are living in poverty. Thus, buildings that were originally composed of small, one-bedroom apartments must now accommodate the needs of a growing community in need of larger units. This phenomenon has resulted in illegal conversions of garages into units and dining rooms into bedrooms, as well as gardens being covered in asphalt to accommodate an abundance of automobiles. The living conditions in these units are obviously substandard, but we aim to change that.
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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. Read more…

Happy Holidays from Studio One Eleven

December 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Rendering for our Long Beach Senior Arts Colony project, which is about to break ground and will be complete in 2012.

It’s been a fruitful year of ground-breakings, tree plantings, awards, new projects, and a whole lot of construction documents. We’re especially looking forward to seeing many of these drawings turn into built work in 2011, as well as continuing to grow in the areas of community buildings, affordable housing, landscape architecture and graphic design.

Studio One Eleven will be closed for business between December 24, 2010 and January 3, 2011. Enjoy the holidays and see you in the new year!


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Senior Housing – “beyond sticks and bricks”

November 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

Kasey Burke, Senior Vice President of Meta Housing, accepts SAGE award (left), and S111’s Michael Bohn meets with SAGE “Person of the Year” Annie Gerard (right).

Last week Studio One Eleven was honored at the 2010 SAGE Awards Dinner for our Long Beach Senior Arts Colony, which was recognized in the “On the Boards” category. The SAGE Award highlights individuals, projects and programs that have made outstanding contributions to enhance the quality of life of Southern California residents aged 50+. This year there were a record number of entries, so we are proud to be a part of a winning team.

The SAGE Awards are given annually by the 50+ Housing Council, which was celebrating its 20th anniversary. Many of the influential icons in the senior housing industry were acknowledged at the event, including John Huskey, President of Meta Housing Corporation, Vicki Clark, President of Vintage Senior Housing, and Barbara Krueger, founder of the first 50+ Housing Council in Orange County.  It was a great opportunity to network and learn about the issues that guide our work as architects who design for senior and/or affordable housing projects.

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SCANPH looks at TODs

October 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH) held its annual conference on October 1, 2010, with the topic of “Recent Practices in Transportation-Oriented Development.” Michael Bohn of Studio One Eleven was one of several invited speakers, which included Art Cueto of Transtech, Michael Dieden of Creative Housing, and Dan Falcon of McCormack Baron Salazar, on benefits and strategies associated with developing around transit.

The event attracted a diverse audience and engaged developers, non-profit organizations, funders, and policy-makers. Many came with limited knowledge on how to leverage these important parcels around transit hubs, often instead looking for simplistic solutions that do not respond to the context. The good news is that public funding sources are increasingly being directed towards TODs, planners are incorporating the idea of developing around transit into their vision, and innovation has spurred many creative approaches to parking that encourage more development in these areas.

You can view Michael’s presentation slides here.

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