Modular Living: New Way of Building Helps Create Supportive Housing In Los Angeles

There is a new way of building and it is in the works to happen in Los Angeles. The plan is to create supportive housing for those in need, in the Westlake neighborhood of L.A, using shipping container style modules. Imagine living in a shopping container! Ok, no, not as claustrophobic as it sounds, just wait. The project Hope On was created by HBG Steel, KTGY Architecture + Planning, and Aedis Real Estate Group.

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Image: For What It’s Earth

Everyone in the Hope On team is super excited about the project and its huge potential, “Hope On directly serves the homeless in the form of providing supportive housing, but we are very aware that the very high rate of homelessness in Los Angeles can’t be solved only by building.”

Given it is a large project and is multifaceted in its benefits, it also comes with complications. So, the team has engaged with developers, public officials, zoning and policy people as well as the community to ensure that it not only benefits the people who live there but the wider community too. We like a win, win!

The Dream Behind The Idea

The company working on the project was started by Max Azria, the fashion designer who died last May, and the company is now being run by his wife. Lubov Azria, Max’s wife, spoke out, “Max thought about things on a drastically large scale because he knew that was the only way to really effect change. We honor him in fulfilling this vision and delivering housing to those in need.”

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Image: For What It’s Earth

It is unclear whether the project includes facilities like mental and physical health services, education and job training, and drug and alcohol treatment. Supportive housing often includes services like these to ensure the safety and development of the communities living there. Makes sense to us – make everything simple and easy for people to thrive!

Ok, so now to the details of the project itself. The housing project uses fancy modular construction to transform steel modules (just like shipping containers) from China into a five-story, 84-unit residential building.

How It Works

The modules are moved on a huge truck to the site and then lifted by a crane, stacked on top of each other, creating a single building. Multiple modules are used to create one apartment, not just one module per apartment. The internal finishes and fittings are completely off-site, so that includes the bathroom, kitchen, drywall, and tiling.

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Image: Curbed LA

The concept of shipping container architecture is not new. In fact, a lot of projects simply use old shipping containers. This project is different, instead, this project just uses the concept, and the containers are custom-sized. It’s because it can be difficult to change each of the containers to be exactly how it needs to be if you use already existing ones. This way there is no need for cutting out walls etc. to make the right sizes and shapes without creating too much waste.

The Results (Hopefully)

The whole project aims to not only create affordable housing intended to provide privacy and safety, but also to produce a sense of community using a central courtyard. The building will be made up of a mix of studios and one-bedroom units to cater to the new residents. The project’s concept is based on speedy construction and efficiency with the building materials. Fast, relatively cheap and easy. Hopefully this all goes to plan because it sounds pretty good to us.