FF - Distance Edition: LA Más

The Los Angeles-based studio shares its recent work through a virtual visit.

June 7, 2021

Recorded on May 6, 2021.

The League’s monthly First Friday events are informal social gatherings that allow members to visit the offices of leading design practices and see work in progress.

The League’s monthly First Friday series has shifted to a new online format and other days of the week. Each event explores design practices in New York City and beyond that operate in multiple roles—coupling architecture with initiatives including design advocacy, fabrication research, and community engagement.

LA Más’s mission is to design and build initiatives that promote neighborhood resilience and elevate the agency of working-class communities of color. The Los Angeles firm describes its approach to community development as “honoring local knowledge and culture while bringing together the power of informal and formal systems,” defining its role as that of “an advocate and partner that utilizes design as a process and a tool to make information more accessible and to make systems more inclusive.”

The presentation focused on The Backyard Homes Project, a “one-stop shop” Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) program that enables the average homeowner to become a provider of affordable housing.

The Backyard Homes Project includes:

  • 25th Street Backyard Home, situated in a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ), was subject to a design review process that required the ADU’s architectural style to match that of the primary residence. The one-bedroom residence will house a Section 8 tenant.
  • 48th Street Backyard Home, located in a Community Plan Implementation Overlay (CPIO), a zoning tool intended to conserve the character of a residential neighborhood. The one-bedroom home, set in the rear yard of a house constructed in the early 1900s, will also house a Section 8 tenant.
  • Terrace Heights Backyard Home, a two-story, one-bedroom, 616- square-foot dwelling for an architect, is the largest structure to be designed as part of LA Más’s Backyard Homes Project. Details, including an abstracted front porch and sawtooth roof, reference early modern architecture.

The program was moderated by Christopher Hawthorne, chief design officer for the city of Los Angeles and former architecture critic for The Los Angeles Times.


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