Category Archives: Editorial

Establishing Continuum: The Downey Arch


We were chatting with the inimitable critic, author and urban planner Sam Hall Kaplan recently about the great value of continuum in place making. My thoughts from that point forward were stuck on an archway in Downey. Over the years, Studio One Eleven has advised numerous cities throughout the region on architectural and urban design and, at the moment, we happen to be working on the Downey Civic Center Master Plan.

Creating a physical vision for any city, town or neighborhood allows us to take a closer look at its identity and how we might use the underlying character and values of a community to establish a meaningful and vibrant sense of place. In Downey, we lucked upon an archway to articulate a unique narrative for the city. As you explore our gallery below, notice how the Downey Archway allows us to connect (as good arches do), reinforce and enhance the civic center’s historical context with its evolving identity—reflected through place.

Playing the Angles: Soriano’s Kimpson-Nixon

As we continue to explore Studio One Eleven connections with Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., #PSTinLA, Studio Founder Alan Pullman offers up a window or more specifically—horizontal bands of steel casement windows to explore one of the purest achievements in International Style residential architecture. Pullman’s subject: his home, otherwise known as the Kimpson-Nixon House, one of the few remaining Raphael Soriano structures in existence.

 Kimpson-Nixon house (1940), designed by architect Raphael Soriano (1904-1988), is unique in its dramatic use of light, space and form. Featured here: a horizontal band of steel casement windows wrap around the structure providing second floor terrace, front and back-yard vistas. Click on the gallery below for more detail.

Studio One Eleven on OVERDRIVE

As Southern California museums and cultural organizations delve into Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., #PSTinLA, we’d like to explore our Studio One Eleven connections with the initiative. Those of particular interest:  the  complex and often underappreciated facets of Los Angeles post-war architecture that impacted the region’s residential fabric as well as its global identity. For this initial installment, Michael Bohn comments on the Getty’s inclusion of Carl Maston in the Getty’s OVERDRIVE: L.A. Constructs the Future 1940-1990.

S111 Principal Michael Bohn with his Carl Maston "Store Building" sketch.   Michael Bohn with his Store Building for Mrs. Ann McCreery + Mr. A.N. Hexter by Carl Maston.

Although a favorite of Studio One Eleven’s Michael Bohn, there’s little mention of the influential mid-century modernist architect Carl Maston (1915-1992) in a landscape dominated by the renowned names of Eames, Neutra and Lautner. Despite this, Maston’s stark modern style and inventive use of concrete structural solutions, can be seen in his 100+ works throughout Southern California—shopping centers, institutional buildings, private homes, and military housing units.
20130502_BohnMastonPSTMichael Bohn posing near Ray Kappe sketch (for Carl Maston) featured in Getty’s OVERDRIVE:  L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990. (Photo by Ryan Miller Capture Imaging/Invision/AP).

Michael Bohn: What I discovered while talking to Architect Ray Kappe at the opening reception for Pacific Standard Time Overdrive exhibition is that Ray drew the sketch while working at Carl Maston’s firm! He told me he completed the drawing in a day.

20130503_Maston_DETAILDetail of Carl Maston’s Store Building for Mrs. Ann McCreery + Mr. A.N. Hexter. Click image to see sketch in full view.

Michael Bohn on his Maston: What I like best about this Maston sketch is that it features a group of retail shops reflecting a period that illustrates an architectural style—the signage, cars and dress on the people as well as the type of shops that were prevalent at the time such as the camera store and china shop.  A college friend and fellow architect, Brian Lane, gave me this Maston from his collection. If he wouldn’t have taken the drawings from Carl, they would have been dumped in the trash!


A Letter from Collage


Our mission at Studio One Eleven is to create more vibrant communities through an integrated practice of architecture, urbanism, and landscape design. Judging from the following letter, sent to us by a current resident at our Collage apartment project, we are accomplishing our goal one project at a time.

To whom it may concern,

I was one of the first people to move into Collage Apartments. Before I moved into my wonderful apartment home I was homeless with my daughter and pregnant with my son. We were staying in over-priced dirty motels. When I got a call for an interview to live at Collage, I was overjoyed. I watched Collage being built, and I thought “One day, I hope to live in a place as beautiful as that”. Now, I’m lucky to say that I DO live here, and my apartment overlooks the tot-lot where I can watch my daughter safely play as I am in the kitchen making dinner.

The look on my daughter’s face when I gave her the tour of Collage was unforgettable. All she could say was, “I love our new home, Mommy”. Our brand new apartment includes a refrigerator, stove, microwave, and dishwasher. I am also thrilled to have a parking garage! We have barbeque grills, a tot lot, and a community garden where all the residents can grow their own vegetables. The gates around the property are always locked, and we even have a security guard at night. The police also patrol the area often, which has made the streets safer. We have access to a computer lab, resident services, and after school programs. One of the programs is for healthier eating and staying fit – my daughter and I look forward to being a part of that.

Our home is in the center of Long Beach and we are surrounded by parks. My daughter’s school is walking distance, and we are only 2 blocks from the Metro Train that we often use to take trips downtown to the beach, the movies, and Shoreline Village. A local grocery store is only 3 blocks away and they have a free van service to bring you home with your food and help you to your door.

These apartments are a wonderful blessing, not only to me but also to the community. I love that I can live in a beautiful place where I can pay the rent without any worries, and that I live so close to places that I can walk to. Living here makes me feel that I can accomplish anything. Thank you, Studio One Eleven, for my first real place I can call home.


Paul Tay: Pioneer of Long Beach Modernism

Paul Tay, a prolific mid-century architect, will receive a well-deserved “Excellence in Architecture” Award from Long Beach Heritage tonight. Our own Michael Bohn nominated him because of the numerous residential and commercial projects he worked on in Long Beach.

Mr. Tay is most well-known for his “Hex-House” concept; consisting of hexagonal-shaped rooms in a honeycomb pattern, this concept maximizes floor space and creates multiple focal points by minimizing unusable corners.

A sketch of “Hex House” circa 1966.

Coincidentally, we will also be receiving an award tonight in the contextual in-fill category for our 4th Street parklets. We credit forward-thinking architects like Paul Tay for laying the groundwork that makes our success possible.

For more information on the Long Beach Heritage Awards, click here.

DJ Arkatekt Does It Again

Every year at Studio One Eleven starts with a song. Or, more accurately, several songs.

For the past six years, our very own Eric “DJ Arkatekt” Gomez has gone out of his way to make sure that we dance into January. His holiday mix has become a tradition that we look forward to all year, and we make it known. “Even if I were to forget, it’s a given that someone will ask about it around Thanksgiving,” says Eric. “In the end, though, the appreciation from my fellow colleagues makes it worth my time and effort. I enjoy doing this year after year because I appreciate my colleagues just as much!”

This year’s theme was simple: music for dancing. The process, however, is not so simple: “I look forward to making these mixes because of their eclectic nature,” Eric continues. “There are many different types of people in our studio, and it shows in their music choices. I pick a theme, but each person picks their own song(s) and the different genres make the mix fun, yet challenging, for me to strategize.” The end result is a unique track that reflects who we are as a studio and keeps us entertained all year long!

For a free copy of this year’s mix, visit and follow DJ Arkatekt on his SoundCloud page. Enjoy!