Koning Eizenberg Architecture (KEA) transformed a 1926 building in Los Angeles into a piece of modern residential architecture with an integrated photovoltaic system, a new perforated metal skin and a picturesque rooftop garden. The existing structure, built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, was reconfigured and restored while preserving its key historic features and important role in the communal life of 28th Street in Los Angeles.
The 28th Street YMCA was listed as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2006 and was acquired by nonprofit developer Clifford Beers Housing (CBH) in 2009. Commissioned to revive the structure and transform it into a modern housing development, Koning Eizenberg Architecture introduced new housing units by reconfiguring 52 single room dwellings into 24 studio apartments, provided a new wing with another 25 studios and wrapped the extension in a metal skin that mimics the decorative qualities of the building’s original style. The housing capacity of the development features low-income units and living spaces for the mentally ill and the homeless.
The new residential wing features improved building systems and is shaded by a vertical photovoltaic panel array facing its south side. Wrapped with a perforated metal screen, the north façade provides framed views of the city and creates an appearance of lace-like patterns characteristic of the traditional building style of Los Angeles.
In addition to the use of cross-ventilation, the extension features a solar hot-water system and is aiming for LEED Gold certification. The building has been chosen as one of 10 recipients of the 2014 AIA Housing Award.