October 29, 2019— Architecture, urbanism and landscape-design firm Studio One Eleven has unveiled its design for a four-story transitional housing development using modular construction in Los Angeles’ Watts neighborhood. Watts Works, at 9502 S. Compton Avenue, uses stacked shipping containers to create 24 320-square-foot, studio apartments for low-income residents and one 480-square-foot manager’s apartment. The project also offers bike storage and multiple community spaces.
Watts Works is a joint development between Decro Corporation, Daylight Community Development, and The People Concern. The developers were recently awarded $23.8 million in City of Los Angeles Measure HHH loans to continue this approach to building innovative, low-cost affordable housing. These funds will also help create additional projects in other Los Angeles neighborhoods for a total of 132 units for homeless individuals.
“Studio One Eleven is applying its dedication to uplifting neighborhoods with a new, container-based approach to deliver drastically needed housing,” said Design Director Erika Stubstad. “Watts Works also advances our sustainable, low-cost modular designs which already include shipping-container food halls in underserved communities throughout Southern California.”
Set on a street corner, the attractive design embraces the surrounding neighborhood. The building massing steps back to preserve an existing 70-year-old avocado tree, considered one of the oldest species in the region. In addition to the shaded, ground-floor community space around the tree, there are patios, a “tranquility garden,” community room, rear barbecue area and a level-three amenity deck. The design emphasizes indoor-outdoor living – including exterior corridors and open stairs – while creating privacy and security.
The design and construction are created in partnership with modular manufacturer Indie Dwell.
“We have explored modular construction with several successful outdoor urban eateries,” said Studio One Eleven Senior Principal Michael Bohn, AIA. “These places – including the new SteelCraft developments in Bellflower and Garden Grove – enhance neighborhood cohesion by attracting local, independent vendors and providing gathering spaces. Now Watts Works extends this approach with low-cost construction that also helps uplift lives. We look forward to further advancements of container design.”