John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
1461 E 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
213 253 4740
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c. JFAK, 2020
Located in an underserved neighborhood in South LA, this 5,700 SF public facility provides much-needed services for the unhoused, including: Personal Storage in secure, mobile bins; Personal Hygiene (showers and toilets); and informal Counseling. In order to speed construction, reduce waste, mitigate pollution, and create an affordable, replicable prototype, the building was constructed of prefabricated modules assembled on-site.
Notably, the structure dignifies homelessness with an iconic, civic-scaled design that has a strong street presence. Rather than hide away, it stands out and welcomes our family, friends, and neighbors in need of assistance. It acknowledges the power of architecture to destigmatize and to celebrate our common humanity; it is an uplifting addition to LA’s constructed public landscape. The iconic gable “house” form alludes to the homelike services provided here, while the same form used upside-down suggests that home can be anyplace; home is where one makes it.