Architects are known for their creative designs, but do they have what it takes to build these ideas?
We put our designers’ minds to the test with a paper airplane building contest at our last company mixer. Given materials like recycled office paper, scissors, tape, and some markers, these new “engineers” crafted an array of interesting paper planes and waited for their departure time on the 20th floor runway. One-by-one the planes took off, some having much more successful flights than others. Awards for “Best Design,” “Furthest Flight,” and “Most Innovative,” were distributed to those who had a “wing” up on the competition.
Our award winning engineers and judges
An honorable mention was also given to Design Principal, David Rogers, who not only made a paper plane, but also brought with him a stuffed goose.
The event was a chance to engage in friendly competition, meet new people and have a great time with our cohorts. It is yet to be determined if any of the designers will be exploring a career in aerospace engineering anytime soon, but judging from the performance of some of their planes last night, we think they would be much better suited staying with us!
The LA Times announced today that Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is the first official tenant of The Bloc, a Studio One Eleven designed mixed-use development in the heart of downtown LA, owned by the Rakovitch Company. The theater chain, synonymous for its eclectic feel and food and beverage service, is a perfect fit for the transformation project located at 7th and Flower streets. Just as the Bloc will bring a carefully curated mix of retail and entertainment to the increasing downtown population, Alamo Drafthouse is reinventing the theatre industry with their culinary food fare, in seat service and variety of movie offerings.
See the LA Times article for more information on The Bloc’s first tenant, and keep checking back for updates!
The future of Parc Broadway
On July 17th, another example of Studio One Eleven’s effort toward transforming the heart of downtown Long Beach began. Parc Broadway is a seven story mixed-use project near Lincoln Park on the corner of Pacific and Broadway – just steps from the Long Beach office. The complex that will include 222 residential units, outdoor community spaces, and ground floor retail is designed to make pedestrians more safe and welcome in the neighborhood. Designer Marlon Steiner adds, “This new development will help activate this area by enlivening the sidewalk along both Broadway/Pacific, and providing active ground floor retail and tenant amenity spaces. This will allow the downtown retail core to further expand along Broadway and Pacific.”
Parc Broadway will be replacing an existing office building, and is expected to be completed in early 2017. Steiner and other Studio One Eleven team members who have been working on the design feel especially tied to this project due to its proximity to our offices, and envision the wealth that it will bring to the Downtown community. Marlon sums it up as:
“This is a great opportunity to work on a project so close to our office. Having worked with the Studio for the past 14-1/2 years, I have been able to see the revitalization of Long Beach occur and I think that this project is an important piece for Long Beach to continue positive growth of its downtown. This has been a great project to work on through entitlements. It has been a positive / collaborative effort working with the Owner, LB Planning and Development Services. I believe this project will be an instrumental project for the city to help further energize its downtown.”
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 17th, marking the beginning of this development’s new life. Guests included Marlon Steiner, representing Studio One Eleven, developers, and Long Beach city officials. Recently elected mayor, Robert Garcia, was also in attendance and had positive words to share about the project and its development team:
“This team has just been relentless [in making it happen]… There’s a possibility of 450 new residents living in this part of Long Beach, shopping in this area, and contributing to the West gate.”
Long Beach Mayor Garcia at the Groundbreaking Ceremony on 7/17
Glendale Arts Colony (GAC), an affordable housing community for the creative industry, was unanimously approved by the Housing Authority for funding on July 8th, 2014. The Studio One Eleven designed 70-unit project will receive approximately $6 million from the City of Glendale and $26 million in tax credits. GAC partnered with the YMCA, who owns the land, to create a dynamic fusion of program and services for the community. This landmark partnership was praised by the state and was given as the reason for the funding of the project. The development will transform the YMCA random collection of buildings into a campus focused on affordable housing, fitness and the arts. Currently the existing Spanish Revival and Brutalist style fitness center flank a parking lot. The new design will transform the parking lot into limited short term parking dispersed within an art park that can accommodate outdoor events. The third side of the art park will be defined by Meta’s affordable artist housing with a ground floor museum for use of the resident artists, YMCA programs and the arts community at large.
The City of Glendale, has been and continues to be exceptionally progressive when it comes to securing affordable housing– it is one of the top four cities in Southern California to receive tax credits in the last ten years – having been awarded $100 million; behind only Los Angeles and ahead of both Santa Monica and Long Beach.
Situated at 121 N. Kenwood Street between Wilson Avenue and Broadway, the five story project will contribute to the ongoing development of Glendale’s downtown and Arts & Entertainment District, as it replaces two existing apartment complexes owned by the partnering YMCA. The Art Colony’s design incorporates 70 one to three bedroom units as well as ample community space including music and performance spaces, media lab, “messy arts lab” and gallery in order to foster the creative lifestyles of its residents.
Glendale Arts Colony is a joint venture between Meta Housing Group, the City’s Housing Authority, and the Glendale YMCA. It is S111’s third partnership with Meta, a follow up to the award winning Long Beach Senior Arts Colony and Annex. With the approved funding, the project will provide an arts program and integrate artists into the broader community by providing them with a comfortable and safe environment.
On Tuesday, July 15, 2014, the Signal Hill City Council unanimously approved Studio One Eleven’s design for the Meta Housing Corporation project.
Gundry/Hill is an affordable housing community at a village scale. It incorporates a variety of building heights ranging from one to four stories, and encourages communal living with its open spaces. Located off of Hill Street and Walnut Avenue, the housing development’s design will include residential patios, porches, balconies, and unit entries along edges to activate streets and deter crime, as well as concealed parking. To foster its family friendly environment, Gundry/Hill will feature a community garden to encourage healthy eating, a large patio adjacent to its community building with flexible green space to encourage activity amongst residents, and a high-visibility tot lot.
At the June 15th meeting, Councilmembers said that the financing packages were all very similar, so the decision came down to design. Councilmember Hansen noted that the architecture of the development brings dignity to residents that would make anyone want to live there.
For more on the project, look to this Signal Tribune article
The proposed design for the San Juan Capistrano Historic Town Center Master Plan preserves and enhances the role of Town Center District as the civic and commercial heart of the City by creating a dynamic mixed-use village scaled downtown. Utilization of open space, building massing, interconnected street networks, and shared parking systems are portions of the plan which enable a comfortable pedestrian-oriented environment. The design preserves the historic buildings and resources of the town that are integral to its urban and architectural character, and strengthens its viability as both a local and regional focal point by encouraging new buildings and renovations of existing structures.
On Thursday, June 11, Studio One Eleven’s Michael Bohn attended San Juan Capistrano City Council Retreat to present the community driven aspirations for the future of its Town Center Plan, and to refine an implementation strategy that would guide the District toward the preferred future vision over time. Larry Kosmont from Kosmont Companies was also invited to share his perspective of the state of the downtown as well as suggest next steps.
The presentation itself was comprised of three parts: the vision plan – which encompasses both comparisons to similar town centers and specific improvements for each of the districts, mobility plans to reposition traffic and parking, and an implementation plan. For the plan to be truly effective, there is a pressing need to expedite entitlement when proposed developments comply with the master plan. In addition, the park once strategy must be implemented to further encourage appropriate development within the downtown. Proposed opportunities for internal and external funding sources for infrastructure concluded the presentation.