Category Archives: Technical Studies

Curtain Wall Analysis – Edison Lofts

Edison Lofts is an adaptive reuse project which converts a downtown office building into new market-rate apartments. The project scope includes the remodel of two one-story pavilions that define a newly landscaped entry court, a ten-story tower, and an existing parking structure. Comprising 125,000 square feet overall, the City of Long Beach views this development as a key gateway icon that will serve as a visual link between the East Village Arts District and the Pine Avenue Entertainment District. Our design was selected by the city during a competitive RFP process because of the vibrant retail street life proposed at the ground floor and the retention of the original mid-century character of the tower.

A curtain wall analysis was completed to understand how to carefully incorporate mechanical systems to support the building’s conversion to housing while retaining the integrity of the exterior façade. Our conclusions were as follows:

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Parklet Toolkit

UCLA’s new “Parklet Toolkit” features Studio One Eleven, among others.

Spurred by rapidly-growing interest in the implementation of parklets across Southern California, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs’ Complete Streets Initiative recently released a parklet toolkit. “Reclaiming the Right-of-Way: A Toolkit for Creating and Implementing Parklets” features parklet case studies and designs from around the world, providing all the necessary “tools” to encourage users to adapt a program to their own communities.

Compiled by Madeline Brozen, Complete Streets Initiative Program Manager, the toolkit is the first of a three-phase project centering around parklets. This first phase compiles insight from various designers and planners who have led the implementation of parklet programs, such as our own Michael Bohn. (Studio One Eleven designed the first two parklets in Southern California, Long Beach’s Lola’s Mexican Cuisine and Berlin Bistro).

The second phase, conducted in collaboration with the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC), will construct and implement a demonstration parklet in Downtown Los Angeles in front of LA Cafe on Spring Street. The final phase involves evaluating parklet use, such as pedestrian and business volumes before and after parklet installation.

Download the Parklet Toolkit here.

Graffiti? What Graffiti?

Our Long Beach Senior Art Colony project has a lot of burnished block at street level. In an effort to keep its naturally beautiful texture from being slathered over with paint due to graffiti concerns, we recently tested an anti-graffiti system meant to stop graffiti from becoming a permanent problem. The video above shows a demonstration of Graffiti Solution Systems tackling four layers of paint and permanent marker, washing it away in minutes.

Proper application of the coating yields a relatively smooth, continuous, pinhole-free surface on the substrate that can be cleaned with a spray called Erasol, literally “erasing” any graffiti from the walls. One of the most impressive things about this system is that the spray – seen here slicing through layers upon layers of heavy-duty paint – is rendered neutral with just a splash of water, making it environmentally friendly as well as effective.

Landscape Design & California “Must Haves”

Drought tolerance is fundamental to sustainable gardening in southern California and to planting design on our projects at Studio One Eleven. In discussing sustainable landscaping, many people feel that drought tolerant planting requires the exclusive use of native California plants. While native plants definitely have their place in landscape design, we are fortunate to live in a Mediterranean climate where plants from many parts of the world can grow and thrive. Continue reading

Adding Economic, Sustainable, & Aesthetic Value: Road Diets in Long Beach

Highlighted below are four recent projects that reflect various road diets in the City of Long Beach. These projects have provided additional economic, sustainable, and aesthetic value to neighborhoods by complimenting engineering with good design.

First+Linden Curb Extension (Studio One Eleven)
Initially viewed as an ADA upgrade by Public Works, this project transferred 3,000 square feet of roadway into the pedestrian realm, adding landscape and outdoor seating with no loss of parking. Pedestrian crossing distances were also reduced by 60%, allowing better vehicular flow.  Since this project was completed, five new businesses have moved in and two have expanded. (Cost $400k.)

West Broadway and Third Street Cycle Track (KOA Corporation)
By transferring one vehicle lane to a protected bike lane, these two streets have transformed from freeway extensions into urban streets. Traffic speeds have been reduced by 20%, promoting balanced mobility for pedestrians and cyclists. Additonal landscape enhancements will become permanent after a one year test-run. (Cost $700k.)

Vista Bike Boulevard (KOA Corporation)
By adding eight landscaped round-a-bouts and traffic circles, Vista has been transformed. It now allows children to bike to three different elementary schools, and neighbors have embraced the landscaping by adding lights to the new trees during the holiday season. Also, property values for homes fronting Vista have actually increased in value, which is exceptionally rare in our current economy. (Cost 600k.)

East Broadway Medians (Studio One Eleven)
This residential street currently has average traffic speeds of 35 mph in a 20 mph zone. The proposed medians will serve to calm traffic, provide an area of refuge for crossing pedestrians, and serve as bio-swales to capture rain water. Property values are estimated to increase by 5-10% when completed. (Cost 500k.)

These and other context driven road diets have allowed for the doubling of bike routes to 400 miles within the City over the last five years, all while improving the quality of life and making our city a more beautiful place.

How We Did It: Obtaining a Change-of-Use Agreement for Continental Graphics

We recently worked to obtain a “change-of-use” agreement for our Continental Graphics project in Los Angeles, and it was a very enlightening and complicated process. “Change-of-use” literally means permission has been given by a local authority for premises to be used for a different purpose. This particular project contained one office and one manufacturing/garage space, both of which have now been officially converted to retail. The project plan-checked through Case Management at LADBS, which is where projects are sent if they are complex in nature and have multiple entitlements.

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