649 Lofts & Joshua House Health Center Wins 2022 AIA Los Angeles Design Award

Clients: Skid Row Housing Trust & Los Angeles Christian Health Centers

Abode Communities|Architecture Studio was honored to receive a 2022 AIA Los Angeles Design Award for the planning and design of this mixed-use residential community featuring 54 supportive homes and a 25,000 sf Federally Qualified Health Center.

In an effort to foster health and healing to unhoused individuals, this project brings critical supportive housing and healthcare to a landmark location in Los Angeles’ Skid Row. The site’s urban infill nature and dramatic narrow confines dictated programmatic elements to be arranged along a north/south axis in order to effectively combine uses and maximize useable space.

At the ground floor, a three-story Federally Qualified Health Center creates an architectural plinth that elevates four stories of supportive housing, sheltering residents from street traffic and neighborhood activity. The health center entrance invites passersby and creates community connectivity via a double-height glass storefront corner. Upon entering, a grand stair leading to the upper floors of the clinic flank the project’s Wall Street elevation. Programmatic elements include reception, pharmacy, primary care, optometry, dental, behavioral health, multipurpose space, an outdoor deck, a small chapel, and staff parking.

Supportive housing units are accessed via Wall Street through a private entrance that leads to the site’s residential core. At the core, residents are greeted at a lobby leading to a private health center entrance or 54 studios at the upper floors. Residential amenities include onsite property management, spaces for supportive service provision, two outdoor courtyards, and a community garden. All units are arranged along a combination of single- and double-loaded corridors to maximize density within the confines of the infill site.

HHH funding required the design team to navigate the complexities of meeting LAHD’s guidelines and NAC for accessibility compliance for both the residential and the health center.