2014 Recipient | AIA/HUD Secretary's Awards

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28th Street Apartments | Notes of Interest

This project restored a 1926 YMCA building, designed by noted African American architect Paul R. Williams and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and added a new five-story building at the rear of the existing structure. Together, the original building and addition house two nonprofit organizations; one offers neighborhood youth training and employment programs and the other provides 49 units of affordable housing for youth leaving foster care, the mentally ill, and the chronically homeless. Support services are offered on-site, and residents have access to a roof garden, laundry, and lounge.

Located on a 17, 241-square-foot site in an ethnically mixed neighborhood in south Los Angeles, the Spanish Colonial Revival building had fallen into serious disrepair when it was purchased in 2007. Guided by historic photos and original drawings, the restoration reinstated some of the original architectural features and replicated key ornaments. To preserve the appearance of the building’s historic ceilings as well as hide the new service runs, an interstitial floor was added above the ground floor. New mechanical equipment is slung between two trusses and hung over the light well, thereby freeing the flat roof deck for use as an elevated garden that connects the new and old buildings.

The stucco-clad addition features 25 new residential units. Solar hot water panels cover the roof and a photovoltaic array shades and generates power on the south façade, thus leaving the historic building free of such attachments. Lightweight perforated metal screens wrap the walkway and stairs of the addition, providing contrast with the original structure and emphasizing its weight and solidity. The screens feather at the corners to reveal views of the city, and their perforations create patterns abstracted from bas-reliefs on the historic building. Completed in 2012, the project is certified LEED Gold.

Additional Credit

  • Architectural Conservator: Williams Art Conservation, Inc.
  • Construction Manager: AMJ Construction
  • Contractor: Alpha Construction Co., Inc.
  • Engineer – Electrical: OMB Electrical Engineers, Inc.
  • Engineer - Mechanical/Plumbing: Khalifeh & Associates, Inc.
  • Engineer – Structural: Parker Resnick Structural Engineers
  • Environmental Graphics: Newsom Design
  • Historic Restoration Contractor: Spectra Company
  • Irrigation: Atomic Irrigation
  • Land Use: Brown/Meschul, Inc.
  • LEED Consultant: Green Dinosaur, Inc.
  • Lighting: Lighting Design Alliance
  • Preservation Architect: Historic Resources Group
  • Soils: Geotechnologies, Inc.

Photo Credit

    © Eric Staudenmaier

28th Street Apartments

Jury Comments

The screen is just beautiful, creating an ephemeral contrast to the sturdy masonry.

The industrial materials feel elegant and create a high level of transparency.

We love what they did with the original façade and that the addition is not subtle and provides a stark contrast.

This project checks all the boxes we were looking for.

2014 AIA/HUD Secretary's Awards Jury

  • Nancy Ludwig, FAIA, Chair
  • ICON architecture, inc.
  • Charlestown, Massachusetts
  • David Barista
  • Building Design+Construction
  • Arlington Heights, Illinois
  • Louise Braverman, FAIA
  • Louise Braverman Architect
  • New York City
  • Keith Fudge
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Washington, DC
  • Paul Joice
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Washington, DC
  • Jean Rehkeamp Larson, AIA
  • Rehkamp Larson Architects, Inc.
  • Minneapolis

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