Plans for Downtown's haphazard-stack-of-block-looking Star Apartments have been making the rounds (and winning awards and praise and so on) for a few years now, but work has finally begun and will also end pretty soon (and chalk another one up for Skid Row). The Star, designed by architect Michael Maltzan and developed by the Skid Row Housing Trust, will provide permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless, and was mostly prefabricated in a factory in Idaho. The Downtown News reports that the building "is rising atop a one-story structure at Sixth and Maple streets ... a crane is lowering prefabricated residences one-by-one onto a concrete superstructure that was poured over the existing edifice."
The former elevated parking garage will have a "community-focused pad" with basketball court and track on its former roof; the 102 apartments, each about 350 square feet and with "toilets, appliances, cabinets and surface finishes installed," will be attached to that base. After installation (which will take "a matter of weeks"), the units will be stucco-finished. When it's all done, the Star will also have space for on-site social services for residents. This is Maltzan's third design for the SRHT--he's also responsible for the Rainbow Apartments and the New Carver.
· Downtown's Prefabricated Architectural Star [Downtown News]
· Maltzan's Architectural Sophistication and Social Consciousness [Curbed LA]