Thursday, April 09 2015

New Pershing Apartments Video

Tuesday, April 07 2015

Company’s Commitment to Affordable Housing Recognized – Park LaBrea News

KFA partners Barbara Flammang and Wade Killefer. (photo by Chad Yussman/KFA)

Killefer Flammang Architects (KFA) received the John Chase Creative Community Award at the recent West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC) Gala.

KFA was recognized for dedicating “so much of their time and energy to creating affordable homes for hundreds of people who struggle not only with inadequate income, but with multiple health issue and disabilities,” said WHCHC Chair Ramon Mendez, Jr. and WHCHC executive director Robin Conerly.

KFA designed five of WHCHC’s 14 affordable housing communities, starting with Palm View in 1998, Havenhurst in 2004, Detroit Senior and Detroit Family in 2001 and Hayworth House in 2013. KFA has designed over 3,000 units of affordable housing in Los Angeles County.

The John Chase Creative Community Award is dedicated to the late urban designer for the city of West Hollywood.

John Chase oversaw the design of hundreds of projects, big and small, playing a significant role in West Hollywood’s redevelopment. WHCHC held its 4th Annual Gala Celebration “A Night To Remember” at the London Hotel West Hollywood.Killefer Flammang Architects is a full-service, award-winning architecture firm based in Santa Monica.

KFA’s design expertise includes multi-family/mixed-use housing, affordable housing, adaptive reuse, senior and special-needs housing.

For information, visit

Wednesday, April 01 2015

Announcement of New Principals at Killefer Flammang Architects

KFA is pleased to announce the promotion of John Arnold, AIA, Lise Bornstein, AIA,
and Shu-Chi Hsu, AIA, LEED AP to principal.

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With degrees in architecture and landscape design, John joined the KFA team in 1999 and has enjoyed the opportunity of being involved in both LA’s and KFA’s continuing growth and evolution. He has a deep interest in making existing cities better places to live at both the individual level and public level by designing good units and setting them in a lively, diverse urban place.

John’s tenure at KFA has focused on the full range of multi-family housing types including adaptive reuse projects, hotels, affordable family and senior housing, and market-rate condominiums and apartments. He enjoys working with developers and communities throughout the design process to find the project that best fits on each site and meets client goals.

John is an active volunteer in his South LA neighborhood, helping out with planning and preservation issues, and is an advocate of native plants. John has also made a habit building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Southeast Asia.

Notable Projects: Ace Hotel, Pacific Electric Lofts, the Roosevelt Building, Luxe @ Broadway, the Hesby Apartments, and NoHo Senior Villas


Lise joined KFA in 2001 and has incorporated her love of art and design into her work. Working on a wide range of projects including market rate and affordable housing, mixed-use, and master planning projects, she continues to develop her interest in Los Angeles and participates in the considered densification of such a large and complex city.

Focused on creating projects with a big design idea, Lise has managed projects with complex entitlement packages, multiple funding sources and significant community outreach while working collaboratively with clients, consultants, contractors and in-house teams. The ever-evolving LA cityscape is reimagining itself yet again amidst a new era of transformation in the way people live and work. This growth will lead KFA to new and exciting projects with creative partners and offer new opportunities in urban infill development and design.

Lise is a board member of the Association for Women in Architecture Foundation (AWAF), where she chairs the Scholarship Committee.

Notable Projects: MGA Campus Master Plan, Hayworth House, FCD Silverlake projects, Frogtown Lofts, NMS @ La Cienega, and Luxe @ 1539


Originally from Taiwan, Shu-Chi studied architecture in Bauhaus, Germany, and lived in Italy before settling down in Los Angeles. In 2006, she joined the KFA team and has become an expert in discovering the best and optimal land use of any project site.  Shu-Chi enjoys working with her team on
complex projects and challenging deadlines, and believes building design should be honest, functional, and timeless.

Outside of the office, Shu-chi works with engineers and artists to create large-scale public works of art for underserved communities both in Los Angeles and in Taiwan. The bamboo bridge her team built won an AIA Los Angeles Design Honor Award, one of the first non-building prize winners.

Deeply interested in business, she is currently an EMBA student at UCLA where her concentrations are in finance and global management.

Notable Projects: 6th and Virgil, 201 Lexington, 7500 Sunset East & West, Pico Eleven, Washington Penny Lane, NMS @ Lincoln and Luxe @ Broadway

Monday, March 23 2015

WHCHC Gala Award Video – KFA Recipients of the John Chase Creative Award

Wednesday, March 18 2015



Old Church Converting to Senior HousingKFA partner Wade Killefer (snapped here with Thomas Safran & Associates chairman Thomas Safran and Clifford Beers Housing exec director Christian Ahumada) says the design will preserve the old stained-glass windows, in addition to the church’s historic organ. The project will convert the 90-year-old Immanuel Church at 3215 E 3rd St in Long Beach into a three-story complex for seniors. The project will include 24 one-bedroom units with rents starting at about $450.

Old Church Converting to Senior HousingThe $12.1M project will deliver in summer 2016 and was financed by low income housing credit equity from Union Bank, an infill grant, a HUD loan and money from Long Beach, among other sources. Amenities will include a community room, fitness center, and residents will have access to senior health and education programs.


Monday, March 16 2015

Episode #101: Renovation & Renewal in Skid Row’s Affordable House Stock

You Can’t Eat The Sunshine – The Esotouric podcast

IMG_0472A2_Low res

Join us this week as we talk with architect Wade Killefer, partner at Killifer Flammang, about the firm’s recent renovation of the 19th century Pershing Hotel at the corner of 5th and Main. We’ll also visit with Donald Spivack, former Deputy Chief of Policy and Operations for the CRA/Los Angeles, about working with Wade to preserve and maintain the affordable housing stock of Skid Row.

We’ll also discuss a new residential project in the historic Bumiller Building on Broadway, preservation concerns raised by Tom Gilmore’s futuristic art museum proposed to wrap around two historic landmarks at the corner of 4th and Main, Nazarian dropping out as the hotel developer for the Grand Avenue Project, progress on the #SaveTacoBell front and Frank Gerhry tapped to develop the former Garden of Allah site at Sunset and Crescent Heights. All this and more as Kim & Richard usher in the week of March 16th, 2015

Thursday, March 12 2015

Successful Design Strategies for Affordable Housing – Form Magazine

Successful Design Strategies for Affordable Housing

Gower, exterior, med res

The affordable housing crisis is intensifying. It has increased pressure on architects to produce designs acceptable both to developers and to the communities where affordable housing may appear. Killefer Flammang Architectsbased in Santa Monica, has designed over 3,500 units of affordable housing in Southern California including the New Pershing Apartments developed by Skid Row Housing and Villas at Gower developed by PATH Ventures and A Community of Friends.

In addition to these projects, KFA will receive the John Chase Creative Community Award from West Hollywood Community Corporation on March 21. KFA Partner Wade Killefer, FAIA, discusses how affordable housing can benefit those who live there and the communities surrounding them.

Can new affordable housing be designed in ways that are accepted by surrounding communities?

Terrace and views at the Villas at Gower

Terrace and views at the Villas at Gower

An architect should always join with the developer to engage in multiple meetings with community stakeholders prior to final design. At Hollywood’s Villas at Gower – permanent supportive housing serving youth, adults and families who are homeless and have special needs – meetings produced an “edgy” urban building with metal siding and large public spaces. This complemented design already existing in the neighborhood. In many cases, affordable developments are replacing blighted real estate with attractive, modern buildings. Architects should emphasize that their product is adding a stable group of new residents that are invested in keeping their community safe and clean.

What are some of the issues in adapting older buildings to new affordable housing?

That is almost always a win-win-win for communities, developers and neighborhoods. But it’s not always easy. In Long Beach, where we adapted an underused 1922 community church into much-needed senior residences (Immanuel Senior Housing), there were many challenges, but many rewards. Our design will preserve beautiful, stained-glass windows, huge, exposed trusses, as well as the church’s magnificent historic organ. All of these will be incorporated into a community space that complements the new housing.

The New Pershing Apartments is a $28 million transformation of the 1889 Pershing Hotel. In order to preserve the Victorian façade, new steel support beams support the walls upright, and the new structure is attached to the exterior. In this case, the community has a rare jewel, with extravagant craftsmanship that it no longer in use. On the inside, residents have a highly functional space with wide corridors. This allows them to see each other, know each other and build community.

What are some of the amenities designed into new affordable housing?

One important addition is a community garden. Places where people can grow their own produce and flowers are now one of the most desired attractions for communities of all income levels. Gardens do not need to be huge. Often just a set of small planters can make a big difference in the quality of life.

What about security issues?

It is crucial to design for visibility. Courtyards that are visible to the street serve a similar purpose: They bring people together and they allow them to watch out for each other. They also add natural light to the building. Front doors of individual units should be visible to each other as much as possible. Community rooms can both look out onto the street and inwards toward a central courtyard. Elevators should also open to these social spaces. It all helps people see who is coming and going so that residents both inside and outside the building have a more secure environment.

Wednesday, March 11 2015

Immanuel Senior Housing Groundbreaking Ceremony

Friday, February 27 2015

KFA and the Creative Office (R)Evolution

Creative Office Main Story Image_v

As technology continues to develop and the modern workplace is reimagined around changing work needs, “creative office” has become quite the buzzword throughout Los Angeles.  Creative office enclaves have surfaced from Downtown LA to Pasadena, and from Hollywood to Silicon Beach as many creative professionals gravitate to a workplace that reflects their culture and lifestyle.  Below is a brief timeline of our projects over the years and trends we have noticed as this evolving office model begins to gain traction in our city.

1999:  The Live/Work Loft, the Anti-Office

Rowan Building / 2121 Artists’ Lofts & Townhomes/ Ostrich Farm

Live/work units naturally adapt to telecommuting and the remote workplace.  The flexibility and mobility provided by advancements in technology challenge the tradition of a rigid office-centric nine-to-five ritual and creative professionals are able to incorporate work into their lives seamlessly.  Neighborhoods like Downtown Los Angeles became live/work/play in part because of the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance of 1999, which facilitated the densification of our urban centers and the new desire for walkable neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area.

2012:  The Office Building, Reconsidered

Taft Building / 901 Abbot Kinney

The corner of Hollywood and Vine has it all.  With lofts, restaurants, bars, culture, and a Metro Red Line Station within steps, the extensive renovation brings the Taft back to its throne at the hub of Hollywood.  Over the years, the tenant space configuration remained similar to that of the 1920’s when the building was constructed.  Offices were small and closed, with focus on the individual. The creative office tenants of today love this building (read more in our interview on that has been transformed both inside and out.  Not only have the cubicle and the corner office become the bullpen, the war room, the breakout space, and the collaborative studio, but the neighborhood has become the meeting place, the networking opportunity, and the social playground.  We have seen this happen in other thriving communities from Old Town Pasadena to Silicon Beach, where the City has truly become the amenity.

2013:  The Live/Work Loft Transforms Creative Communities

Elysian Valley Riverfront Creative Campus

Capturing the passion of the LA river revitalization and the intrinsic artistic tradition of the Frogtown neighborhood, the Elysian Valley Riverfront Creative Campus reflects a growing Los Angeles creative office niche by providing flexible space where people can live and create. Inspired by a village approach, the shared communal spaces are interwoven through the site and promote a maker lifestyle, with a seamless connection to the LA Riverfront, adjacent bike path, and newly opened Marsh Street Park.  The expansive live/work units are complemented by new creative office space and an existing 1940’s bowstring truss building housing the flex spaces sought out by the local artists and craftsmen.

2015:  The Campus Attracts Industry Talent

MGA Campus

Community/gathering, health/wellness and fun/whimsy form the core tenets that organize MGA’s visionary creative campus, including 700 new apartment units, over 24 acres in Chatsworth. A national entertainment company with local roots, MGA is developing 255,000 sf of creative office space occupying a former LA Times printing plant (read more in the SFV Business Journal article).  With brightly lit collaborative spaces arranged along ‘the boulevard’, the office areas are augmented with a central ‘living room’, game areas, cafeteria, auditoriums, and on-site production studios.

In order to attract and keep innovative industry talent, MGA has endeavored to complete a holistic lifestyle for their employees while offering something extra to draw local residents. On-site amenities include: a village green with open air movie nights, day care, amphitheater, dog park, exercise path, 14,000 sf of neighborhood serving retail, transit plaza connecting to regional hubs, community bike share, edible gardens, orchards, pools and flexible community spaces.

Tuesday, February 24 2015

The Historic Taft Building Unveils Major Reno

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance writer and editor living in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in publications such as Travel + Leisure, Angeleno and Riviera Orange County.

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