Formosa 1140 / Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

Architects: LOHA Architects
Location: West Hollywood, California,
Principal in Charge: Lorcan O’Herlihy
Project Team: Katherine Williams (PM), Kevin Tsai, Evan Brinkman, Kevin Southerland
Client: Habitat Group Los Angeles, LLC
Project year: 2008
Constructed Area: 1,486 sqm
Area per unit: 140 sqm aprox.
Photographs: Lawrence Anderson

Located in the heart of West Hollywood, this new eleven unit housing project emphasizes the central importance of shared open space for the residents and the community. Formosa takes what would be the internalized open space of the courtyard and moves it to the exterior of the building to create a park which occupies approximately one third (4,600 sf) of the project site.

As a result of shifting the common open space to the exterior and pushing the building to one side, units are organized linearly allowing for ‘park frontage’ and cross-ventilation for every unit. External circulation is used as a buffer between public and private realms and articulated through layers of perforated metal and small openings.

The careful placement of outer panels and inner fenestration creates a choreographed effect, both revealing and concealing, while achieving a unique expression of form and materials. The exterior also keeps west facing units cooler by acting as a screen and shading device.

The provision of this park space resulted in a series of negotiations between Habitat Group Los Angeles, LLC (Developer), LOHA (Architect) and the City from which a unique, more fluid, model of community planning and development emerged to the benefit of all parties involved. The outcome of these negotiations is the leasing of the park to the City of West Hollywood, to develop as part of a network of pocket parks throughout the City. This effort also helped Habitat Group Los Angeles take advantage of certain incentives and zoning concessions for the proposed building.

park diagram

This project presents a challenging but influential opportunity in regards to the creation and inclusion of an urban park in a private development. The park is accessible to the public at large, not solely residents with granted permission.

Formosa 1140 contains within its own genetic code the imprint of a larger urban design that will offer some kind of public space back to the city and in so doing, distribute a patchwork of parks across Los Angeles’s formidable grid.

Products in this project

Bathroom Equipment: Toto , Reinex

  • Dual-Flush Toilets by Toto
  • Tankless Water Heaters by Reinex

Facades: Shiplap, Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation

  • Exterior Cladding: Wood Stained Cedar Siding by Shiplap
  • Perforated and Solid Corrugated Metal Panels (factory paint finish) by Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation

Floor: Premier Flooring

  • FSC-Certified Wood Flooring by Premier Flooring

Joinery: Metal Window Corporation, Schlage , Milgard, K&B International, Inc., Ives

  • Locksets by Metal Window Corporation
  • Locksets by Schlage
  • Aluminum Windows by Milgard
  • Pulls by K&B International, Inc.
  • Locksets by Ives
  • Metal Doors by Metal Window Corporation
  • Aluminum Windows by Metal Window Corporation
  • Custom Thermafoil Cabinetry by K&B International, Inc.

Lighting, Heating, Home/building automation: Artemide, LED Rope Lighting, Serge Mouille Lighting, Prolighting, Intense Lighting

  • Exterior Lighting by Artemide
  • Interior Ambient Lighting by LED Rope Lighting
  • Dining room wall light by Serge Mouille Lighting
  • Exterior Lighting by Prolighting
  • Recessed Downlights by Intense Lighting

Roof: Ipe

  • Roof Decks by Ipe

Staircases, Elevators, Moving walks: Otis

  • Elevators by Otis

Walls: Frazee Paint, Atlas Concorde

  • Paints and Stains by Frazee Paint
  • Bathroom Floor and wall tile by Atlas Concorde
Cite: "Formosa 1140 / Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects" 07 Mar 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • whitney sander


    Really beautiful work, sir! My compliments on an interesting and wonderful project.


  • saakshi

    very interesting work….grt levels created

  • Mike Mecanics

    Really Nice!!

  • dennis

    very nice work, at first I thought it was reworked shipping containers, which I am always fascinated by.

  • Miguel Sá, Arqt

    I loved the visual effect, color and volume of the project

    adorei o efeito visual, volumétrico e cromático do projecto

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  • hung dang

    personally speaking, this building is very good. it solves effectively between public space and private one. that gives interest for building and around area. this is very different in my country.

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  • Sinking Cities

    I like this project. I stopped by it a few times while it was under construction and it looked great. All of the units sold quickly which is surprising with the housing crisis, especially in Los Angeles.

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  • Tosh

    It’s ok. Most of it is just junk though.. no matter how u justify it.

  • Garima

    The facade caught my attention! it has exciting spaces making it stand out ..
    could anybody tell me what the ‘red’ coloured material is?

    • Carly


      The red that you see are metal panels from Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation — Specifically 36″ T16-E Siding

  • maggy antikyan

    To start with, I’m in love with the embossing and lego look of the facade. I am doing a case study on this project and am wondering if there is any way to get floor plans or a 3d model of the building.