Location: Lancaster, CA
Client: Hope the Mission
Architect: Kadre Architects
Landscape Architect: Kadre with TerreMoto
MEP Engineer: CEG
Civil Engineer: Barbara Hall & Associates, PE
Structural Engineer: Nous Engineering
Lighting Design: Dan Weinreber, KGM Lighting
Commercial Kitchen: Jerry Stein, Global Restaurant Design
Contractor: FORD E.C.
The Sierra brings 38 new transitional housing units online for families currently experiencing homelessness in the high desert of Los Angeles County. As a new prototype for the rapid conversion of existing hotel stock into transitional housing, the Sierra explores the expansion of living space, sustainability, and resilience. Through Kadre’s design vision, a motel-style lot is transformed from a crime-ridden eyesore into a green park-like campus. Replacing the old Sands and Tropic motels, – the 5-acre parcel in the desert becomes a place of revitalization, safety, and dignity.
To eliminate the claustrophobic impact of the existing rooms, architects doubled the living space by using a new solar porch, a lattice-like typology to line the facades of the existing buildings. The solar porch offers a reverie of light and shadow that plays out against the vibrantly colored walls throughout the day.
Solar panels will provide much-needed shade from the desert sun while harnessing its regenerative energy. Shade trees located throughout the property battle the desert heat, providing much-needed respite. The vast majority of the site remains permeable to replenish the aquifer during the infrequent rains. This includes the previously asphalted parking area, now moved to the back of the site and made permeable. The required asphalted fire road is covered with colorful paint, designed to reflect the heat.
The vitality of color used externally, along with the deliberate placement of newly planted palm trees, mark a sense of place and unifies the campus. The grounds feature colorful walkways, spaces for a vegetable garden, a play area for children, a chicken coop, a basketball court, and exercise areas. Plenty of spaces for small and large social gatherings are designed throughout the property to fortify a sense of community. The site is set to open in August of 2023.