Tuesday, January 12 2016
KFA Announces New Partners
New Partner Jonathan Watts Joins Longtime KFA Principals John Arnold and Lise Bornstein
Santa Monica, CA — KFA (Killefer Flammang Architects), Los Angeles’ full-service, award-winning architecture firm, has announced three new partners. Joining founders Wade Killefer and Barbara Flammang as partners are John Arnold, AIA, Lise Bornstein, AIA and Jonathan Watts, AIA. Arnold and Bornstein are longtime KFA Principals while Watts is former Principal of Cuningham Group Architecture. The three expand the diverse legacy KFA established over the past 40 years in reshaping the Los Angeles cityscape.
“Coming off KFA’s 40th anniversary, we are excited to announce leadership for the next decade and beyond,” said Founder Wade Killefer. “Our new partners are innovators in many different architectural disciplines. They are poised to create more places that help make Los Angeles one of the world’s great cities.”
KFA has brought to fruition innumerable landmarks and important projects in the realms of educational and public buildings, multi-family housing, affordable housing (designing approximately 3,500 affordable units in Southern California), adaptive reuse (including some of Los Angeles’ greatest historical buildings), hospitality and many others.
KFA is well-known for adaptive-reuse designs that have reshaped the city, including the Old Bank District, Eastern Columbia building, Ace Hotel, Broadway Hollywood, Taft Building, Title Guarantee building, The Chapman, Rowan Building, Roosevelt Lofts, Pegasus, Pacific Electric lofts, 1010 Wilshire, and Grand Lofts. At the same time, 75% of KFA’s work is new construction, including the fast-moving worlds of hospitality, residential, transit-oriented development and creative office. Killefer believes this multi-layered legacy is in good hands.
“Barbara and I have tremendous confidence in our new generation of leadership,” he said. “This team is immersed in placemaking that draws from the city’s great past while projecting a future that it needs and desires. KFA will continue to have a lasting imprint on Los Angeles.”
Watts has been practicing architecture and land-use planning for 30 years in Los Angeles.
His passion for great design and livable communities has led to work in many different cities and on many different building types, including mixed-use urban infill, multi-family housing, hotel, office, retail and entertainment.
“Design is the real value architects bring to clients and communities,” said Watts. “It is essential to creating beautiful, sustainable environments as well as high-functioning, profitable projects for the clients that commission them. That has been the firm’s calling card and I am excited to continue strengthening the KFA design process, especially for new buildings.”
Among Watts’ work is the complex and transformational Ivy Station. This highly-anticipated Culver City development adjacent to the Metro Expo Line will be an energetic center for residents and visitors, with 500,000 square feet of state-of-the-art office, apartments, a hotel, stores and restaurants within a landmark environment.
Bornstein has been with KFA since 2001 and sees her Partner role as a continuation of the firm’s redefining Los Angeles density.
“We are active community participants, creating elegant, original and sustainable urban infill,” she said. “And our clients are visionary in their own ways: They see the potential in typology of unit types and how the city’s demographics are shifting. They, and everyone on our team, exhibit passion and camaraderie that shows in the work we do.”
Bornstein applies this approach to KFA’s well-known affordable housing as well as a broad range of market-rate residential designs. Equally significant is her large-scale masterplan work, such as KFA’s collaboration with MGA Entertainment to transform an underutilized 24-acre site of the former L.A. Times Chatsworth printing facility into a vibrant campus. The existing 255,000-square-foot building will become creative office and production space, with the surrounding concrete and asphalt giving way to 660 housing units and retail.
With KFA since 1999, Arnold looks toward developing a new generation to carry on its design prowess and creative culture.
“Wade has often said we’re good listeners, and it’s true,” said Arnold. “We listen to what clients, the community and cities want, distilling that input with our wide experience to create projects that succeed on many levels. It’s a very positive ethic that filters all the way down to our friendly working environment and personal approach.”
Among Arnold’s current marquee projects are two high-profile but very different hospitality developments for Sydell Group: NoMad and Freehand, both in Downtown Los Angeles. For NoMad L.A. KFA is restoring a 12-story structure into a magnificent, 250-room luxury hotel with a grand lobby, retail space, a bar, restaurant, library, and rooftop event space and swimming pool. Freehand is a cutting-edge hostel/hotel brand that caters to group, international, and youth travelers.
Arnold also directs residential trends. The Micropolitan at Chandler will be a seven-story, 82-apartment, transit-oriented building at one end of a North Hollywood city park: “Our solution to this difficult site was to imagine a vertically accented mini-highrise, like a stylish Central Park apartment building, rather than a more-expected California courtyard building. This approach has been quite successful. We are applying equally innovative approaches to the new Seabluff condominiums in the heart of Playa Vista, creating unique, downtown loft-style spaces in that Westside urban setting.”
KFA by the Numbers
Over its first 40 years, KFA has designed over $4 billion of Los Angeles developments (project value, not billings, calculated in 2016 dollars):
- 151 housing projects
- 15,205 residential units
- 3,436 affordable housing units
- 904 units on Skid Row
- 4,416 adaptive reuse units
- 1,282 hotel rooms (built and soon to come)
- 30+ adaptive reuse projects
- 18 schools
- 12 recreation projects
- 11 libraries
- 4 fire stations
- 11 project buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places
- 70 current projects – 56 are new-construction projects
- 7,426 units currently in the pipeline (residential and hotel; new and adaptive reuse)
- Over 7,500,000 square feet of current projects (new and adaptive reuse)