SMALL LOT

Small Lots, Smart Designs is not merely a call for an architectural solution for one particular lot. It’s a call for a new housing typology shaped to fit the unique urban model of Los Angeles. It’s a search for a counterpoint to the quintessential single-family detached house that fuels an unsustainable American Dream. It’s a response to the culture of ownership and the predicament in which the existing housing stock has failed to meet this deeply seeded desire, both conditions from which the Small Lots Ordinance originated. We believe it is a call for a critical look at how this ordinance might influence and shape the morphology of our city blocks. Our proposal seeks to bring attention to how an architectural response to the Small Lot Ordinance might bring about a new housing landscape. It proposes a typological model: one that can be replicated and adapted to various infill conditions found in Los Angeles – alley, narrow, wide, through lots, etc. (See TYPOLOGICAL DIAGRAMS.) Too often, L.A. has lacked a clear urban vision: it has covered up its rivers, discontinued its trolley lines, and vacated neighborhood alleys (as is the case with the subject parcel). In this proposal we have chosen to imagine the vacated alley as extant in order to illustrate the full potential of the site.
In recent years, Los Angeles has seized an opportunity to renew our urban center as a hub of culture, commerce and residence; we believe that the way in which we interpret and manifest the Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance in built forms will have to contribute and celebrate this renaissance. Reyner Banham’s “plains” of Los Angeles still remains as one of the fundamental ecologies of our city. But here we re-envision it as a rich new terrain built ecologically, establishing a new ground for our multi-ethnic generations to flourish.

ServicesArchitectural, Engineering, Landscape Design, Interior Design, Construction Administration, Design-BuildYear2003