Monthly Archives: May 2015

Bringing Down The Roof at Macy’s Plaza to Make Room For The Bloc

Located at the heart of Los Angeles lies the remains of what use to be the historic Macy’s sign, which hung outside Macy’s Plaza off W. 7th Street in DTLA. On Tuesday, May 27th construction teams, along with The Ratkovich Company, Edelman and Studio One Eleven, began destructing the Macy’s Plaza roof.  This iconic moment marks the beginning of something brighter, more vibrant and diverse; it marks the beginning of new life for DTLA- The Bloc.

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*Official Rendering of The Bloc

The Bloc is a unique mixed-use project designed as a destination for business people, shoppers and downtown residents.  The Bloc represents a project that will meet the goals and aspirations for the City of Los Angeles.  The design approach opens the project up to the city’s street life with a curated mix of landscape designs, featuring outdoor promenades, terraces and plazas.  On Tuesday, construction crews began to remove the roof from Macy’s Plaza, bringing The Bloc to life.

Media, local residents and tenants gathered outside along Hope Street as sparks flew during the removal of the iconic Macy’s sign. President and CEO of The Ratkovich Company, Wayne Ratkovich, Los Angeles City Councilmember, Jose Huizar, and Senior Principal, Alan Pullman of Studio One Eleven, spoke about the improvements this project will bring to the city.

Wayne Ratkovich said, “Our aspirations of The Bloc are very high. We see it as a physical and cultural beacon, a truly transformative force, at the very heart of a rapidly revitalizing downtown Los Angeles.”

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*The Ratkovitch Company and Studio One Eleven team giving a thumps up for the roof removal

During the event, local residents mentioned that The Bloc is just what their city needed. They said it’s great to finally see a location that connects to the metro and opens up to the city life.

“Our first thoughts were how to make the old Macy’s Plaza open up to the street, “said Senior Principal, Alan Pullman of Studio One Eleven. “ It really became a part of the pedestrian environment and vitality of what’s happening in downtown Los Angeles.”

In addition to roof removal, new tenants of The Bloc were revealed, including Nordstromrack.com- HauteLook, Wingtip, Starbucks, Popbar and LA Fitness. These various new tenants complement The Bloc’s vision of a uniquely multifaceted design.

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*Removing of the Macy’s sign Tuesday, May 26th 

Over the course of three weeks, construction crews will continue to remove the remaining roof panels and begin to install the metro connection. Once complete, teams will move into the final phase of construction in preparation for the grand reveal of The Bloc scheduled for late 2015.

The Bloc, an urban-design and transit oriented development, will revitalize the city of Los Angeles and give residents a destination experience they deserve.

Long Beach Parklet Program Announced as 2015 Westside UrbanForum Design Award Winner

Our company was recently announced as the 2015 Westside UrbanForum Design Award Winner for a public/open space. This award featured our Long Beach Parklet Program.

About Westside UrbanForum Awards:

Westside UrbanForum, a premier networking organization, dedicates its dialogue to the concept of land-use and its impact on Los Angeles.  The group consists of developers, planners, designers, architects and community members. The organizations Westside UrbanForum Awards recognize projects, programs, policies and academic studies that demonstrate excellence in city making and community building. The program presents awards for small/large and built/unbuilt projects within multiple categories.

We are honored to have been presented the Design Award for a built public/open space with the submittal of our Long Beach Parklet Program. See it here- http://ow.ly/NahbK

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*Map of Long Beach Parklets

About the Long Beach Parklet Program:

The Long Beach Parklet Program began as a city directed pilot platform to create safer streets for pedestrians and to give local restaurants the opportunity to expand their businesses. The idea behind the project was to take existing curbside parking stalls and transform them into outdoor dining decks.

In the spring of 2011, we began progress on our first two curbside extensions. To date, we have built a total of four parklets in the city of Long Beach. The criteria for each parklet ensured that they were built to be Eco-friendly, easily constructed and easy to maintain. Each parklet was designed to contest unique characteristics of its corresponding business, to incorporate in each an urban and landscape design concept.

Today, the program continues to evolve with public / private partnerships and enhanced sustainable features that contribute to increasing community immersion. The program has helped increase revenue for business owners, helped to create job opportunities for local residents and has improved the overall ambiance for the community of Long Beach. See below for images and information about each parklet, and be sure to stop by each location to enjoy the parklets for yourself!

 Lola’s Mexican Cuisine: 1st Parklet

This parklet is the 1st of its kind to be built in Long Beach and is a gateway into the Retro Row Business District. The parklet features steel planters and ochre pots that complement the storefront palette. The pots are filled with plant material found in the region where the owners originated from, creating a natural ambiance for guests of the restaurant.

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Berlin Bistro: 2nd Parklet

Contemporary in design, the parklet utilizes planters clad with horizontal cedar siding and illuminating pots that relate to the restaurant’s modern interior.  Drought tolerant plants border the parklet space, growing herbs and spices, used for meal preparation at the restaurant.

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At Last Café: Bulb-Out Parklet

Studio One Eleven worked closely with the City of Long Beach and At Last Café to develop a sustainable design which accommodates curb adjacent sidewalk into dining on. At Last Cafe’s pedestrian bulb-out and bio-swale garden re-purposed 1,500 square feet of road space into people space. The bulb-out includes a bio-swale and garden that captures the first inch of rain-fall that filters pollutants and allows water to percolate into the ground.

Studio 111 At Last Cafe Long Beach CA USA -  Photography by Tom

Glendale Arts Colony Receives Recognition

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Official renderings of Studio One Eleven’s Glendale Arts Colony

Our Glendale Arts Colony (GAC) project was recently featured in the California Arts Districts Initial Assessment!

About California Arts Districts Initial Assessment:

Prepared by City Fabrick, a non-profit design studio, the assessment informs readers on the expansion of place-based arts and cultural districts. According to City Fabrick, creative place-making and place-based arts communities are revitalizing communities in ways in which they had never done before.  The assessment report explores potential arts and cultural districts in both northern and southern California, including the Glendale Arts Colony, designed by Studio One Eleven.

About GAC:

Glendale Arts Colony is a joint venture between Meta Housing Corporation, the City’s Housing Authority and the Glendale YMCA. Located adjacent to the Maryland Arts and Entertainment District, the project is expected to help revitalize downtown Glendale and contribute to the City’s growing cultural arts community.

Flanked by a historic Spanish Revival and 1960’s era Brutalist building, the development defines the third side of the YMCA campus with a ground floor public gallery and art studios above. The 70-unit, affordable, artist designated community, provides music and performance spaces, art studios, galleries and a sculpture garden where residents can display their work.

The Glendale Arts Colony is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed Summer 2016.   Stay tuned for more updates on our blog and social feeds about the progress of the Glendale Arts Colony.

-To read more about Glendale Arts Colony and to view the California Arts Districts Initial Assessment please visit: http://cac.ca.gov/files/Arts_and_Culture_Districts_InitialAssessment-1.pdf