Thursday, April 05 2012

New Life for 1925 Building


The Ford Hotel was built in 1925, but it looks much different today after a complete renovation transformed what had been known by the LAPD as a crime magnet and one of the worst buildings on Skid Row into new housing for formerly homeless low-income residents suffering from mental illness.

Developed by SRO Housing Corporation, the $28 million renovation created 151 light-housekeeping units with kitchenettes and full bathrooms from what had been 295 vermin and rat infested units with common bathrooms and showers.  New common areas include community and mail rooms on the ground floor and laundry and lounge areas on the upper floors.

A major design decision was to remove the roof over the former dingy indoor lobby to make an open air courtyard, now surrounded by units and common areas with landscaping and a bubbling water fountain, a safe outdoor gathering space for residents.

A LEED-equivalent project, the existing board-formed concrete building required the reinforcing of all of its interior columns along with new shear walls and steel stud interior framing.

The ground floor façade was faced in black marble tile and a rebuilt Ford blade sign over the main entry announces a safe, clean and friendly place to live.

Tuesday, March 20 2012

Linda Vista: From Hospitals to Homes


After sitting vacant for more than 20 years, the historic Linda Vista Hospital in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles will be redeveloped into 97 affordable housing units for seniors plus a medical clinic and other community-serving amenities.

“Our plan is designed to mesh with the original fabric of the Spanish Mission-style hospital campus, which was built in the 1920s and 30s,” related Wade Killefer, KFA design principal.
The historic lobbies and common areas will remain, but patient rooms, the nurses’ dormitory and offices will be converted to housing.

Developed by AMCAL Multi-Housing, the new three-story building, located on a 3.5-acre landscaped site, will be built in two phases, with both planned for completion in 2013.

The original structure – stepped asymmetrical massing, traditional windows, red tile roofs and ornate ironwork – readily lends itself to this transformation, added John Arnold, KFA project architect.  Phase I calls for conversion of the dormitory into four studio and 18 one-bedroom units.

In 2006, the hospital was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Monday, January 30 2012

Victor on Venice: “Why I Love My Home”

Victor on Venice is a KFA project circa 2006. Check out the video to see why the residents love their home.

Thursday, December 08 2011

Mosaic Apartments Open in Historic Pico Union District


Mosaic Apartments, developed by AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. and designed by Killefer Flammang Architects, had its Grand Opening on December 8th.

Mosaic Apartments is a 56-unit affordable housing development in the historic Pico Union neighborhood of Los Angeles. The genesis of the design came from the community itself: through a series of meetings, future residents expressed the desire to have seniors and families living together in one project, but also wanted a degree of separation. This led to a long two-building scheme – seniors on one side, families on the other – with a landscaped paseo running between them from the front to the back of the building, connecting between two streets. The paseo is the central circulation court and gathering space for the project – a place for seniors to walk, children to play, and for everyone to interact. Both the developer and the residents also wanted the building to fit into the historic Craftsman residential architecture of the neighborhood, leading to a vocabulary of pitched roofs, traditional fenestration, and wood details.

The project is LEED Silver certified.

Wednesday, December 07 2011

KFA is now on Facebook


Did you know that KFA has a Facebook page? Don’t forget to click on the “Like” button on our page to get all of the latest KFA news delivered directly to your Facebook feed.

Visit KFA’s Facebook Page

Wednesday, November 30 2011

What’s Going On at 512 Rose?


If you’ve passed by 512 East Rose Avenue in Venice, you’ve seen some major construction going on at the historical Pioneer Bakery site.  The KFA designed project, developed by Gerding Edlen Development, includes 67 units of market rate housing, 7 affordable units, and 10,000 SF of retail fronting Rose Avenue, including two restaurants.  Café Gratitude, also designed by KFA, will occupy the northwest corner of Rose and 5th Street.

The project was first designed in 2002 for the owners of the Pioneer Bakery, which occupied the site. There were several community meetings which dictated that this full-block project be broken up into discernable components along Rose Ave. The central courtyard has Craftsman elements, which were desired by the neighbors; the remainder of the project has a contemporary style.

Emphasizing the developer’s commitment to sustainability, the project includes a solar hot water system and will exceed the requirements for a LEED platinum rating. The E-shaped plan has two 25’-30’ wide courtyards which bring abundant natural light to the units and large private patios and balconies will allow tenants to enjoy the mild Venice climate. A 15’ wide easement at the south side of the property adds even more usable outside space and will include edible plants and space for Café Gratitude to grow produce for their restaurant.

Construction is scheduled to be complete in April 2012.

Monday, November 28 2011

Santa Monica Federal Leases in Weeks


A new mixed-use project at Santa Monica Boulevard and Federal Avenue in West LA, built by Wiseman Development, opened this year during the height of the recession, with the brisk leasing of all 63 units in a matter of weeks.

KFA designed the building to add a fresh modern style to the owner’s portfolio of market-rate rental properties defined by spacious units with high-end finishes. The exterior features white metal cladding with contrasting dark bronze metal work and frames. The project includes 11,000 square feet of retail and three loft-style units at the ground floor with open floor plans, high-ceilings, mezzanines, and direct access to the street.

Monday, November 14 2011

Chic Boutique Hotel Opens on Wilshire’s Miracle Mile


A new boutique hotel– described as a distinctive little jewel box–has opened in the heart of Wilshire Boulevard’s Miracle Mile.

Distinguishing the chic, seven story, 74-room upscale boutique hotel is its luminescent street façade and an exciting rooftop terrace,” said Michael Orwitz, president of Brentwood-based OSM Investment Company, the managing member of 6317 Wilshire LLC, the owner and developer.

Originally, The Hotel Wilshire was a hum-drum medical building built in the 1950s, but in concert with its architectural firm, Killefer Flammang Architects (KFA), Orwitz developed a strategy to appeal to sophisticated travelers doing business in the local area as well as tourists headed for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Pacific Design Center and myriad Westside attractions.

“Fact is,” the developer pointed out, “while the Miracle Mile is a vibrant area, there are relatively few places to enjoy upscale dining and entertainment, which is a void our hotel will fill with the help of Chef Eric Greenspan, of the Foundry on Melrose Avenue.

Another facet of the hotel’s allure is a rooftop terrace that provides sweeping city views, a pool, private cabanas and a fireside lounge.

“Interestingly, several of the building’s branding features also were utilized to qualify as a LEED Silver project,” noted architect Wade Killefer, whose firm is noted for the numerous adaptive reuse projects it has designed downtown.  The building, for example, incorporates energy-saving sun shades which decrease in width from the seventh to the first floor while increasing in volume, thereby densifying the building’s mass at ground level, he explained.

The hip, contemporary exterior is reflected in the modern interior by KNA Design, highlighted by cool grey with yellow accents which reflect the chic and eco-friendly environment.

In its quest to serve upscale guests, the hotel provides extensive business services, with executive conference room, HD LCD TV, hi-speed internet access, WiFi and 24-hour valet services.

The Hotel Wilshire is one of seven boutique hotels in California managed by Greystone Hospitality.

 Hotel Wilshire Project Page

Monday, October 31 2011

KFA Projects Map


Check out this Google Map with virtually all of KFA’s projects.  Click on a pin for project details.

View Map

Wednesday, October 26 2011

Library Hailed as Model for Learning


Housing the nation’s first learning center of its kind, Lafayette Library, designed by Killefer Flammang Architects, won a special citation at the awards program for the California Redevelopment Association.  The project, in Lafayette, CA, was hailed as a “model for learning.”

Lafayette Library and Learning Center Project Page