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Shane Reiner-Roth

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Los Angeles Launches New ADU Program To Combat Housing Shortage

It’s a rather unfortunate platitude that good design and government programs don’t mix. More than unfortunate, it’s also untrue, as a new initiative from the City of Los Angeles demonstrates.

The newly launched Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Standard Plan Program offers homeowners 20 eye-catching, pre-approved designs for the increasingly popular typology, which many see as a viable alternative to costlier mid-rise apartment buildings. Administered by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) in United States and featuring designs from firms including SO – IL and LA-Más, the program is a bid to fast-track permits for these humble, backyard homes—better known as ADUs—as well as making them “more accessible, more affordable, and more beautiful,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in a press statement.

Material of the Future: 4 Architects that Experiment with Cross Laminated Timber

This article was originally published on The Architect's Newspaper as "Architects apply the latest in fabrication, design, and visualization to age-old timber."

Every so often, the field of architecture is presented with what is hailed as the next “miracle building material.” Concrete enabled the expansion of the Roman Empire, steel densified cities to previously unthinkable heights, and plastic reconstituted the architectural interior and the building economy along with it.

But it would be reasonable to question why and how, in the 21st century, timber was accorded a miracle status on the tail-end of a timeline several millennia-long. Though its rough-hewn surface and the puzzle-like assembly it engenders might seem antithetical to the current global demand for exponential building development, it is timber’s durability, renewability, and capacity for sequestering carbon—rather than release it—that inspires the building industry to heavily invest in its future.

A worm’s eye view of NN_House 1 reveals the back and forth between 3D neural network design and the limits of timber construction. Courtesy of Casey RehmThe design of the Meteorite allowed for both a monolithic exterior and an intimate interior and room for secondary spaces for installation and storage. Courtesy of Kivi SotamaaGilles Retsin and Stephan Markus Albrecht’s design for Nuremberg Concert Hall expresses the lightness of timber using 30-foot overhead CLT modules visible from the exterior.. Image© Filippo BologneseThe Wander Wood Pavilion was fabricated and assembled over three days to demonstrate the wide range of forms and applications timber can have when applied to robotic fabrication methods. Courtesy of David Correa+ 5