Los Angeles starts work on affordable housing project located on former traffic island

Construction has begun on a housing project for people who have experienced homelessness in the shadow of one of the world’s busiest traffic interchanges, the 110 and 105 freeway crossover in Los Angeles.

The Isla Intersections scheme, designed by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects and developed by Clifford Beers Housing, is located on 3,252 sq m of "forgotten space" occupied by a former traffic island and a railroad right of way.

The designer describes the triangular development as a "green lung" for the city, and plans to plant trees, shrubs and vines to clean the air and add colour to the concrete surrounding the area. Other sustainable features include rooftop farms and "edible gardens".

The scheme is made up of 16 staggered boxes that contain three 6m by 2.4m modular containers made from recycled steel. The units are connected by walkways to create a single undulating structure. The use of modular construction is expected to reduce the construction period to two years rather than four.

As well as the 54 apartments, the development will have retail units, and offices to offer job training, business incubation space, support services and administration.

Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects says projects such as Isla are vital to LA "at a time when the city is desperate for answers to the housing crisis".

Images courtesy of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

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