Thinking

Tales from Los Angeles

As we continue to explore ways to create better communities, fresh perspectives help us envision the future. This past February, the Rize Team took a trip to one of our favourite cities, Los Angeles. From its ubiquitous start-up community to its vibrant art and culture hubs, LA is a diverse city with a fascinating architectural history.

It is also home to innovative urban design firms and community builders, all creating different iterations of home and ways to build thoughtful and uplifting communities. We noticed how several urban infill residential developments acted as a catalyst, shifting communities towards prosperity and regeneration.

We met with fellow creators who, like us, strive to foster vibrancy and connection within the communities we create. Spending time with firms like Brooks + Scarpa and Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA), we found ourselves in agreement that creating places that matter is a social responsibility. The spaces that we occupy should be built with utmost care and intention, and now more than ever, we must build for the city and planet we want to celebrate and protect.

Here are the three key learnings from our trip:

Hayden Tract
Rize - Thinking - SharedSpace - SL11024 SL11024 by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects
Rize - Thinking - Distinct Architecture Sunset La Cienega Residences by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects
Hayden Tract
Hayden Tract
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1) DISTINCT ARCHITECTURE

Culver City, a redeveloped industrial zone, has evolved out of its film production roots to be a new tech hot bed with offices by Nike, Apple and others. Visiting the Hayden Tract, we saw how developing artful structures with intention and purpose attracts diversity and creativity. The unique architectural expressions, majority by Eric Owen Moss, have made this area an art and architecture lover’s paradise, attracting design firms alike to make it their home.

The Six Model by Brooks Scarpa
The Six by Brooks Scarpa
Cherokee Studios by Brooks Scarpa
Cherokee Studios by Brooks Scarpa
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Larry Scarpa and Angela Brooks, principals of Brooks Scarpa toured us through a few of their unique housing projects. The creative use of inexpensive materials, unexpected building form and exterior circulation used as social space, really stood out to us.

2) CO-LIVING

We have been discussing the state of co-living in metro Vancouver and in the current climate, the desire for co-living has become more relevant. Imagine living with neighbours who share similar ideas on sustainability and community. Neighbours who aren’t just individuals who share the same postal code, but also act as a like-minded support system if you need them. 

Treehouse Cafe (photo by Art Gray)
Treehouse Community (photo by Cynthia Alex)
Treehouse Dining Hall (photo by Art Gray)
Treehouse Rooftop (photo by Tedi Dorman)
Treehouse Bedroom (photo by Art Gray)
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At Treehouse, a co-living community in North Hollywood, the benefits of community were apparent. The residents cultivate connections with each other through curated events and experiences, with outdoor circulation providing unique social spaces and opportunities for connection.

Rize - Thinking - SharedSpace - SL11024 SL11024 by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects

3) REDEFINING SHARED SPACE

A key component to building inclusive communities is creating spaces that encourage social interaction. From courtyards to edible rooftop gardens, shared spaces signal to residents a shared vision of community.

LOHA’s project SL11024, used a chartreuse cladding system and welcoming rooftop outdoor spaces, unlike anything in the neighbourhood. Specifically designed to give the majority of homes dual aspect, circulation spaces are mainly exterior providing a sense of discovery when outdoors. 

Rize - Thinking - SharedSpace - SL11024 SL11024 by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects
Rize - Thinking - SharedSpace - SL11024 SL11024 by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects
Rize - Thinking - SharedSpace - Habitat825 SL11024 by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects
SL11024 by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects SL11024 by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects
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Learning from other cities is paramount to our process here at Rize. Los Angeles taught us about external circulation, shared gathering spaces, and how connections between public and private can be unexpected. We saw industrial materials used in new ways and found the bold use of colour uplifting. These learnings give us much to discuss and we can’t wait to show the city what our next steps will be.  

Rize - Thinking - San Vicente
San Vicente by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects
San Vicente by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects San Vicente by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects
Rize - Thinking - San Vicente San Vicente by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects
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