Ford Hotel

2010 — 4th Year

Prompted to design a large scale housing development for downtown LA homeless, I proposed a scheme that would encourage needed socialization while allowing for the anti-social tendencies of many of its residents.

From the beginning, it seemed that a structure which houses homeless residents long-term and in high-density could not follow the patterns of traditional development. Both in physical and psychological terms, the needs of homeless tenants are simply too different.

Thinking of the building as a progression of public to private, I conceived of a ‘grain’ of social experiences within common spaces. Travelling along the grain would yield similar kinds of interactions, while crossing it allows for variation. With multiple routes through the building, a resident may therefore choose whether to gradually or quickly step down from the public street to the private unit. This is further developed with shared kitchens, balconies, gardens and other gathering spaces that promote socialization of many kinds without enforcing them.