Some green projects take the long and windy road to completion, and Los Angeles’ Alta Lofts are a textbook case of how hard building can be. Located in the heart of the economically depressed East LA neighborhood of Lincoln Heights, the project has been struggling to reach completion for over 8 years. Now the lofts are finally done and ready to offer sustainable living for a revitalized community. Designed by Pugh-Scarpa Architects, the newly completed green renovation is a striking re-envisioning of the 1920-era building. The contemporary design mixed with the original neo-classical façade is a nod to the retro chic that LA does best.
The original Fuller Paints building façade is left virtually intact, while a modernist metal ‘cap’ is placed on top. Two roof gardens and a walkway system and courtyard allow pedestrians to flow throughout the building, creating a sense of community for the inhabitants. An atrium courtyard was introduced into the heart of the building to provide natural lighting and send breezes deep into the interior. Heat pumps provide heating and cooling and low-flow water devices and xeriscape gardens keep water consumption low.
The mixed-use revitalization of the 85 year-old building is a cornerstone in the renewal of the entire neighborhood. The 158,000 square foot project offers 102 live-work spaces in addition to commercial and retail areas. A new train station is also nearby. Originally intended to be low-income housing by the original developer (who was also the partner Architect Lawrence Scarpa), the economic downturn put the project on hold last year. The new developers are expecting completion soon with prices ranging from $200k to $500k.