Skid Row Housing Trust Offices

Skid Row Housing Trust Offices

The architects drew on the space’s abundance of existing columns, dressing them up with LED strip lights.
Courtesy LOHA

Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects is designing the new property management offices for Skid Row Housing Trust, a major developer of affordable and transitional housing in Los Angeles. The nonprofit is a big design client: It has hired architects like Michael Maltzan, O’Herlihy, and Koning Eizenberg for new buildings. The current project entails the renovation of a 4,200-square-foot structure located on 7th Street and Central Avenue, including 16 office spaces. The design creates an airy new workspace, letting light in through a wall of glass blocks and opening the space up further with large sliding doors. Textured metal screens will provide intricacy. The project also highlights what O’Herlihy calls the “forest of columns,” an effect created by taking the building’s abundance of structural columns and skinning them with long, thin LED lights that peel out toward the top. In contrast to many raw office and arts spaces downtown, O’Herlihy said he was trying to give employees a break from the bleakness of Skid Row with a design that is more “artful, playful, and uplifting.” The project, unsurprisingly, will be built on a very modest budget of about $55 per square foot.

Despite the modest budget, the design creates an airy new space, letting light in through glass-block walls and movable partitions.

Architect: Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
Client: Skid Row Housing Trust
Location: 7th Street and Central Avenue, Los Angeles
Completion: 2011