Michael Maltzan Architecture

Star Apartments . Los Angeles

Michael Maltzan Architecture

The new Star Apartments for the Skid Row Housing Trust transforms an existing one-story commercial building in downtown Los Angeles into a mixed-used complex with 102 apartments for formerly homeless individuals. Located at 6th Street and Maple Avenue along the border of Skid Row, the project sets a new model for urbanism and increased density by adding new community spaces and residential levels above.

The six-story, 95,000 sf building expands upon the Skid Row Housing Trust’s model of providing permanent supportive housing within the downtown core by incorporating a new type of shared public space within the building. The building is organized around three principal spatial zones stacked one upon the other: a retail zone at street level; a second level for community programs; and four terraced floors of residences above.
Not only is the integration of retail, social services, community recreational facilities and residential units a unique building program, but the project utilizes an innovative new construction methodology. Faced with a limited budget and tight schedule the design team determined that prefabricated modules lifted into place over the existing podium would ensure a higher quality of construction, meet tighter construction tolerances, and dramatically accelerate construction time, producing a parallel reduction in cost. Star Apartments will be the first mixed-use, multi-unit residential project for formerly homeless individuals employing this construction method in Los Angeles. Additionally, through this innovative approach the project is on target to be certified Gold as a LEED for Homes Pilot Project, with factory fabrication ensuring compliance with energy savings.

LOCATION / Los Angeles, California
TYPE / Affordable Housing, Social Services Counseling, Community Activities, Market-Rate Retail
SIZE / 95,000sf
STATUS / Completed December 2013
COST / $19.3 million
AWARDS / Los Angeles Business Council Architectural Award, 2012; AIA Next LA Design Award, 2012

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