"Kumiko"

Mixed Use High Rise Housing

Los Angeles, California

2018

 

The Site

The site is a 31,500sf narrow block long parcel with street exposure on 3 sides in the arts district of Los Angeles. The surrounding context is transitioning from food and fruit warehouses to new denser mixed-use projects along refurbished pedestrian focused urban street settings.

 

The Program

The program calls for 150,000sf of housing and 15,000sf of retail/restaurant and collaborative work environments at street level. The site needed to also accommodate 400 parking spaces.

 

Design Response

A podium scaled to the surrounding buildings and the future streets with a slender tower at the south end of the site is proposed maximizing views and solar access to the north and west of our site. This composition allows for the creation of a series of large park like “rooms” on the podium top and smaller “sky parks” throughout the tower creating a unique user experience for residents and visitors and a distinctive architectural form on the skyline.  This scheme also fulfilled the open space requirements which were greater than the site area itself.

 

Design Expression

The inspiration of the façade comes from the Japanese Kumiko screen, the simple repetitiveness of patterns that wrap around both the podium and the tower. This idea is enhanced with additional layered façade elements using shadows and sunlight animating the structure throughout the day.  

 

Construction

The podium is proposed as a steel structure accommodating 400 autos in a 7 level “puzzle” automated parking system. As future requirements and attitudes toward the auto change, the structure can be easily modified to respond to new program requirements.

Both conventional and modular construction methods were explored for the tower. Steel frame, modular facades, package kitchens and bath elements with panelized walls could reduce construction time by 20%.