We love new, unique opportunities. Recently, we were invited to design a display garden representing the city of Long Beach (a sister city to Qingdao) for the 2014 Qingdao International Horticultural Exposition (QIHE). The Expo, which is expected to attract 12 million visitors, will be located on 595 acres (241 hectares) in Baiguo Mountain Forest Park located on the coast of the Yellow Sea, at the Southern end of Shandong Peninsula, China. With numerous garden theme and experience areas, the Long Beach garden will occupy 43 acres within the International Garden.
Our design concept, “Outdoor Living in a Green Environment,” was recently approved by the QIHE Executive Committee. It will exhibit the unique relationship between landscape and al fresco outdoor living in Southern California. The mild Southern California climate allows us the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors nearly year-round, which influences how we live and design our houses. Thus, our display space will be divided into five zones each one representing a significant period of time in Long Beach that showcases the ‘outdoor room’. The zones will emulate the relationship between the environment and the use of garden space through planting design (native and non-native), shelter and open spaces for gathering.
Construction begins this autumn and is expected to be finished by October 2013 to allow QIHE to initiate trial operations of all gardens for the Expo’s opening in April 2014.
On August 30, downtown Long Beach celebrated the grand opening of our newly-completed Collage Apartments, and it’s days like this that make us very proud to do the work we are doing. Three parcels containing six severely blighted buildings were transformed into a unified housing community; featuring 14 two- and three- bedroom units with affordable rents, this project makes thoughtful design accessible to even very low-income tenants.
The grand opening was celebrated by many in the city – here are some of the kind words we heard:
President of Jamboree Housing Corporation Laura Archuleta: “Thank you to Studio 111 for visualizing this. This is truly amazing and I don’t think any of us could have imagined anything this beautiful. This transformation is what can really happen when people come together and believe in what we are doing.”
Long Beach 6th District Councilman Dee Andrews: “The rehabilitation of these properties provides working families with a safe and affordable place to live. It revitalizes the neighborhood and helps to attract and retain good residents – making Long Beach a better place to live. This is really more than we could have imagined”
Long Beach Police Department Commander Josef Levy: “Quality affordable housing like Collage, coupled with jobs, reduces criminal recidivism. Revitalizing these three properties has reduced calls on this block by half.”
Chair of Long Beach Housing Development Company Patrick Brown “The LBHDC acquired these properties to further its mission in providing safe and livable neighborhoods in Long Beach. With the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency and current legislation, we are extremely happy to see this project come to completion.”
Two local residents: “This place is cool – it’s rad to see someone care about the west side.”
Sycamore Kitchen (Photo by Elizabeth Daniels, la.eater.com 06.12.12)
Everyone’s talking about La Brea, our adaptive re-use project developed by Madison Marquette that has transformed eleven run-down buildings into an eclectic mix of retail, dining, and creative offices – and with good reason. In addition to the amazing Sycamore Kitchen (one of the 5 best places to dine outdoors in the US!), recent openings include the new Kelly Cole Boutique and A+R, a retail lab and design launchpad. Coming soon will be jeweler Judith Bright and contemporary Mexican eatery La Condesa.
Here are a few articles about LA’s newest hotspot: