Los Angeles, CA
The Ford Hotel was built in 1925 and has been restored 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.
The renovation creates 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 a community room and mailroom 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 with units and common areas. Landscaping and a bubbling water fountain, provide a safe outdoor gathering space for the 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 windows were replaced with double glazed, Low E, energy-efficient glass and sash.