LifeCYCLE is a new lifestyle platform that breaks the chronic cycle of homelessness. Using Los Angeles as the plan and its streets as the circulation system, this urban intervention solves problems within and outside the walls of Skid Row, the largest population of homeless in the city.
A home isn’t necessarily four walls and a bed. It’s a lifestyle. It’s comfort. It’s dependency. It’s a state of being. Everyone’s home is special and unique to them. One may be houseless but one can never be homeless.
All of us need the basic necessities of life such as shelter, food, and social engagement. For the homeless, issues such as identification, transportation, healthy food, learned skill, hygiene, fitness, community, entertainment, positive purpose, and storage security are also part of what makes a place feel like home. From conception to completion, I made sure all these components were answered in the most economical and effective way.
This project retrofits the first floor of the Crescent and St. Marks Hotels, two adjacent SRO hotels in the center of Skid Row, into a space that accommodates people currently living on the streets or in assisted living accommodations. This includes offices, a garage to accommodate a bike-sharing program, an entertainment and game room, and mail box area. Outdoor space provides for a dining area and for movie projections. In addition, the project included the remodeling of the first floor of the Hart Hotel‚ another SRO hotel in Skid Row. This includes a gym equipped with bikes, locker rooms, and a laundry space. A cantilevered mezzanine features a community library as well as access to an outdoor deck.
Design is about building solutions that better suit the needs of the inhabitants at hand. With Skid Row being the project at hand, I tried providing opportunities to improve their quality of life on numerous levels. The cohesive concept throughout the entire project was a second chance. Whether it’s up-cycling the existing buildings, re-cycling objects for materials, or providing the residents with a chance at a second life. This urban model pushes the possibilities of how a community runs, and hopefully builds a foundation of a better future for each person who is fortunate enough to call Skid Row home.