Star Apartments was selected as one of seven finalists for the prestigious Mies Crown Hall America’s Prize (MCHAP) 2014/2015 Awards. The MCHAP is a biennial prize that acknowledges the best built works of architecture in the Americas.
Star Apartments was awarded a 2016 American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum and European Centre for Architecture. The annual awards program recognizes the best new buildings designed and constructed by American architects and by international architects for buildings designed and built in the United States. The American Architecture Awards are the nation’s highest public awards given by a non-commercial, non-trade affiliated, public arts, culture and educational institution. An exhibition of all the award winning designs will open in Athens, Greece.
New York Times: “By the People: Designing a Better America,” opening on Friday at the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt, taps into a rich vein of entrepreneurial beneficence. It is about the intersection of poverty, prosperity, innovation and design, and it couldn’t be timelier. If stories like the one from Chattanooga unavoidably turn out to be more complicated than any museum display can make clear, the spotlight is at least pointed in the right direction.
KCRW: The Los Angeles City Council is weighing two separate measures to fund solutions to homelessness. One likely applicant for those funds will be the nonprofit developer Skid Row Housing Trust, which has built supportive housing by some of LA’s leading architects. Can good architecture and planning help re-integrate the formerly homeless back into society?
ArchPaper: A recent count by Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) put the growing visibility and proliferation of homelessness in L.A. County into stark terms. Reporting a 5.7 percent increase in overall homelessness, the report counted 46,874 homeless individuals this year compared with the 44,359 counted in 2015. Within that statistic, LAHSA detailed 34,527 people living on the streets full-time, up from 31,025 doing so one year prior.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De Leon, and US Congressman Xavier Becerra helped the Trust officially unveil The Six, welcoming new residents home. With 52 apartments and studios for formerly homeless individuals, it is the Trust’s first development with permanent supportive housing specifically for veterans. In the military, “got your six” means “I’ve got your back.” The Six has space for onsite supportive programs to help residents achieve health and wellness, and its courtyards and common areas are peaceful sanctuaries that connect with the surrounding community. Designed by Brooks + Scarpa Architects, The Six is expected to receive LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Located in MacArthur Park, The Six is the Trust’s first building completed outside of Downtown Los Angeles, showing that our successful model, based on Housing First, Harm Reduction, and Design Equity, can be applied to neighborhoods across the region. We are expanding our work to create more supportive and affordable housing options for the 44,000 people who are homeless throughout Los Angeles County.
Cobbling together financing for and building low-income housing is a Herculean feat. Yet veteran developer Skid Row Housing Trust topped itself in May, when it opened the 69-unit New Pershing Apartments. The $28 million project at Fifth and Main streets transformed the old Pershing Hotel, built in 1889, and the Roma, from 1905, into a single five-story structure. The design from Killefer Flammang Architects managed to make the complex modern while preserving the Victorian façade. It is instantly a model for both low-income housing and any future historic building renovation.
TIME: For decades, housing for the homeless has too often meant transient shelters or warehouse-like abodes. L.A.’s Star Apartments aims to buck that trend by design; it functions more like a minivillage than a single building, says Maltzan of his third collaboration with Skid Row Housing Trust, a local nonprofit. In addition to 102 prefabricated studios, which are ingeniously staggered into four terraced stories, Star Apartments offers a ground-floor medical clinic and, above that, a garden, an outdoor running track and space for classrooms. The goal, says Maltzan, is to make the residents of its 300-sq.-ft. units—who are handpicked by the county department of health services—feel “like they’re part of a dynamic and intimate community,” a strategy that can help people, especially those struggling with homelessness and substance-abuse issues, re-establish stability in their lives.
The Architect’s Newspaper: The Star Apartments are Michael Maltzan Architecture’s third project for the Skid Row Housing Trust in downtown Los Angeles. In contrast to the firm’s 2009 New Carver Apartments—a sleek white cylinder with sharply faceted bays—Star is a rough-edged, asymmetrical stack of prefabricated units rising from an existing single-story podium of retail spaces.