Los Angeles’ history of loose construction seems to confound the very real problems the city faces in a rapidly deteriorating climate and severe crisis of housing. The cheap and dirty methods of building with which we’ve grown comfortable now seem wasteful and shortsighted. Our impulse is to tighten things up: seal the gaps, sink the foundation, and accumulate layers of protection on building skins.
Our entry for Low-Rise: Housing Ideas for Los Angeles proposes a looser alternative, a radically sustainable typology that adapts LA’s blasé vernacular to the city’s new priorities. With a non-commital attitude towards its own site, a commitment to stupidly smart assemblies, carbon-hungry hemp-based materials, and a communal approach to outdoor living, we feel that the very looseness that has helped push the city to the brink of crisis could in fact become its saving grace.
With Jonathan Rieke, Benzion Rodman, and Morgan Starkey January 2021