Studio One Eleven Hosts “A Morning With Fred Kent”

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”

Read more…

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…

Sketch of the Week: Long Beach Airport

March 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

Sketch showing one of our initial ideas for the soon-to-be completed Long Beach Airport Terminal Improvement project. We were selected to design all of the retail and restaurant shops at the new terminal buildings, and we couldn’t be more excited to be involved in this ground-breaking endeavor.

WoodWorks Tour of Long Beach Senior Art Colony

March 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

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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…

Parklet Fever – Catch It!

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.

AIA Award for 420 4th Street. Rock On!

December 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Alan Pullman Jams with Foo Fighters at 420 4th Street’s Fingerprints

We (with help from Interstices) just won a 2011 AIA Long Beach/South Bay Design Award for 420 4th Street – our third consecutive win! Check out all the entries and winners here.

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