Building Tomorrow Today: Weingart-Lakewood Family YMCA Breaks Ground


On Friday, September 12 Studio One Eleven architects Michael Bohn, Rolando Tapia and Linda Fu joined a number of YMCA supporters in welcoming a new phase in the life of a long-time community staple. The Groundbreaking Ceremony at the current and future site of the Weingart-Lakewood YMCA gave a glimpse of the new project’s overarching goal: to build an improved space for youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.  The Studio One Eleven designed “Y” will increase the existing 25,000 square foot facility by 10,000 square feet. This newly added program space will feature new exercise studios, a teen center, family changing area, and many more amenities designed to improve the quality of life of the individuals who use them. As President & CEO of YMCA of Long Beach, Alfredo Velasco, stated in his speech at the event that all plans were implemented to “give the communities we serve the strongest and healthiest YMCA.”

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Emilio Sosa, Sue Baker, Michael Bohn, Alfredo Velasco, Rolando Tapia and Linda Fu at Friday’s ceremony.

Currently, the Weingart- Lakewood Family YMCA serves 11 nearby cities and welcomes 10,000 people annually. The additional space and other planned renovations will provide much needed space for a variety of demographics including youth, families, seniors, and those living in poverty or low-income households. Titled “Building Tomorrow Today,” the current expansion project places an emphasis on creating ample opportunities for people to thrive in the present so as to establish better futures for themselves and the community as a whole. Council Member Steve Croft from the City of Lakewood, who also spoke at the ceremony, summarized the goal of the soon-to-be started project: “Times change, values don’t. But for the Y, buildings change, visions don’t. It’s only through improving the quality of life of our residents that we become a stronger community.”

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Rendering from Studio One Eleven

Read more about the Weingart-Lakewood Family YMCA renovation, here!

Long Beach to San Diego: Take Four!


This coming weekend Studio One Eleven will embark on our biennial field trip to San Diego to tour exemplary architecture projects. An alumni of Woodbury University in San Diego, senior designer Eric Gomez has leveraged his great collegiate relationships and friendships once again to organize a fourth tour of the city.

Plan your own design inspiration journey with the map created by Studio One Eleven!

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As designers, we look at precedents, or relevant examples, to see how those we respect and admire solve specific problems in extraordinary ways. In no way are we trying to copy their innovation, but that we are educating ourselves on how we can do something that has been done before, but  better…how do we create “the remix.” (See this TED Talk by Kirby Ferguson on “Embracing the Remix”)

At Studio One Eleven, we often look at specific San Diego architects’ work as a model because the design and scale they exemplify that is similar to our own work. In the end, it is inspiring to hear these architects talk about their work and the lesson’s learned on the job (not to mention that we appreciate them taking their own personal time in doing so!).  We are looking forward to seeing the work, hearing the war stories and building upon our own Studio camaraderie!

Click the links to view some of the projects we will be visiting:

Friendly Competition Takes Flight


Architects are known for their creative designs, but do they have what it takes to build these ideas?

Waiting for take off

 

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.

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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!

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The goose!

Welcome Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas to The Bloc


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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!

A Project in Our Own Backyard: Parc Broadway


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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.”

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Long Beach Mayor Garcia at the Groundbreaking Ceremony on 7/17

Glendale Arts Colony, Passed: Masterpiece to be Brought to Life, Soon!


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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.

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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.