A prime example of smart urban development, the Fuller Lofts project is a 103,500 sq. ft. adaptive reuse and nearly 30,000 sq. ft. vertical expansion of a 1920s concrete industrial building in a depressed neighborhood of east Los Angeles. Located convenient to a station on a recently constructed light-rail line, the Fuller Lofts was the first transit-oriented development begun in the area and has spurred the revitalization of Lincoln Heights.
Consisting of 102 units of affordable, workforce, and market-rate lofts along with 15,500 sq. ft. of commercial space, the program adds two stories of penthouse lofts above the original four-story structure. Connected by an open-air paseo, a newly constructed two-story parking structure lies directly adjacent. Our design was the result of several design options explored that took best advantage of cost, schedule, and sustainability while incorporating design excellence. We worked with the contractor early on in the process under a Design/Build and Guaranteed Maximum Price contract.
The design solution for Fuller Lofts creates a daring juxtaposition between new and old. The original neoclassical façade is preserved—along with the elegant, formal lobby—and crowned by a striking steel-clad façade wrapping the addition on the upper floors. Inside, an atrium courtyard was cut into the structure, bringing light and air into the center of the building and thereby reducing the mechanical systems needed. The courtyard was designed with an exterior stair and walkway system to build community through informal interaction. Units are entered directly off this open area, making it the central circulation point of the complex. Two roof-top gardens—one open to all occupants—further enhance residents’ quality of life along with operable windows in every unit, many of which also have private balconies.