Los Angeles: The Latest Architecture and News
Michelle and Barack Obama Sports Center by SPF: architects to be Los Angeles' First NZE Construction
Designed by SPF:architects, the Michelle and Barack Obama Sports Center in Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles, celebrates the center’s rich history and community commitment in an eco-friendly, prefabricated facility. Formerly known as the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex, the center will expand the pre-existing structure and provide additional recreational facilities but in a cost-effective way. Construction has been ongoing since 2018 and is set to be complete mid-summer of 2021.
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.
As architecture has evolved to include advanced building envelopes, innovative structural systems, and hybrid programs, new boundaries have been drawn. Sustainable practices and passive strategies have led architects to re-imagine building skins and the relationship between interior and exterior. While different typologies are designed with varied levels of permeability, libraries demand rigorous attention to performative facades and protected programs. This holds especially true when libraries are placed within radically changing landscapes.
Los Angeles is a city of dreams. Known across the United States and the world, L.A. embodies both freedom and experimentation, defined as much by its freeways as its diversity. It is also a city of houses. Single family homes cover almost half of Los Angeles, and as the city continues to evolve, architects have explored new ideas on modernity and daily life through the single family typology.
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
Low-Rise: Housing Ideas for Los Angeles is the latest initiative spearheaded by Christopher Hawthorne, the Chief Design Officer for the City of Los Angeles. Since leaving his post as architecture critic of the Los Angeles Times in March 2018, Hawthorne has carved out a unique and surprisingly wide ranging role at City Hall. Recently I reached out to him to talk about his two-plus years in government, the latest “ideas” challenge (as he describes Low-Rise), and other issues facing Los Angeles.
The City of Los Angeles has launched a $100,000 housing design challenge for low-rise developments. The competition asks architects and landscape architects to imagine "appealing and sustainable" models of low-rise, multi-unit housing. Organized by the Mayor’s Office and Chief Design Officer Christopher Hawthorne, the initiative aims to create new paths to home-ownership and housing affordability in Los Angeles.