In designing a new apartment building for the Skid Row Housing Trust, architect Michael Maltzan decided not to let "freeway adjacent" become a bad thing. The building, alongside the 10 Freeway at Hope and 17th streets, will give homes to 95 homeless and low income residents. Its circular design cleverly minimizes the noise of the freeway, while creating a series of inner walkways around a wide central stair.
Once inside, a community room's panoramic windows turn "freeway close" into an asset, as the traffic flies by at eye level, like a movie looped on the widest wide screen around.
Maltzan has made a commitment to helping the homeless. The New Carver Apartments are the latest in a series of buildings he has designed downtown not merely to house the homeless, but to break conventions and create housing that lifts the spirits and comforts the soul, for the residents and the neighbors, too.
The building includes a community kitchen, office and social services for the residents. This latest collaboration with Skid Row Housing Trust, the second of three, will be open for new residents in November.