KTGY Architecture + Planning

KTGY Architecture + Planning has shared an initial rendering of Hope on Alvarado, a four-story, 84-unit homeless housing development constructed primarily out of shipping containers in downtown Los Angeles's Westlake District.

The structure, which is currently moving through the development process, will be the first of a series of housing developments in walkable metro communities that will provide support services for individuals transitioning from homelessness. The firm attributes the project's accelerated construction time (it's slated to begin a six-month construction period in the first quarter of 2018) to the design's use of the shipping containers, which will be sourced locally in Los Angeles.

“One major advantage of using shipping containers is the dramatic reduction in construction time. While site work and foundations are being constructed on site, the containers are being manufactured off-site, including most interior finishes and fittings,” says Mark Oberholzer, associate principal at KTGY Architecture + Planning.

“We’re not trying to hide the fact that these are shipping containers,” adds Keith Labus, principal of KTGY Architecture + Planning. “There would be great costs associated with creating the level of character they already have. Our approach is to work with what we have and develop something unique at each location.”

The residences are situated around a central courtyard across a .44-acre site. Each prefabricated unit is made-up of several modified containers that add floor-to-ceiling windows in place of the original doors and remove portions of the exterior metal skin. After interior fixtures and and finishes are added, the containers will be transported by truck to the site, then lifted and stacked together to form a single building by crane.

Hope on Alverdo will offer a mix of studios and one-bedroom apartments ranging between 400 and 480 square feet. Parking spaces will be provided for social services staff and each resident will have a space to store bicycles.

The Hope Homeless Housing developments will be financed by LSA Capital in partnership with Project Sponsor Jerry Jacobs with Scott Baldridge and Leslie Weiss, working with the Foundation for Affordable Housing, and will be developed by Aedis Real Estate Group. The firm aims to set a precedent for similar projects that can implement the cost-effective building model for affordable housing in dense, urban areas such as San Diego and Seattle.