Location: Woodland Hills, CA
Client: Hope the Mission
Architect: Kadre Architects
Landscape Architect: Kadre Architects
Structural Engineer: Nous
MEP Engineer: CEG
Contractor: FORD E.C.
The Woodlands site brings 100 new transitional housing units online for families currently experiencing homelessness. This new prototype for rapid conversion of existing hotel stock into transitional housing shatters construction stereotypes by delivering a massive project – from start of design to end of construction – in under 7 months. This timeframe is the result of excellent partnership, collaboration and shared leadership between Owner, Architect and Contractor.
Woodlands is an urban site, immediately bounded by Ventura Boulevard corridor to the south and the 101 freeway
To the north; an asphalt desert with no adjacent green space. The design reimagines both the sprawling asphalt parking lot and the building surrounding the motel into a colorful composition creating a pedestrian haven as well as a playground for kids. The new pedestrian plaza is situated between the housing – on one side, and a new community center on the other. The community center, a former Denny’s Restaurant, will eventually serve as a major social space for the tenants and house a dedicated preschool for tenants’ children while parents are at work. Case management, three meals a day, and other support services will be provided on-site. A new photovoltaic array is to provide 100% of the energy needs for the site as well as a complete shift from burning fossil fuels. The switch of source energy is designed around a heat pump system that will eliminate the use of natural gas on the site.
The strategy of using color to elevate the experience of the space is similar to the Sierra project, but with very different execution and scale. While planted out as much as possible, colors create inter-twining pathways, unifying the building and landscape to create a coherent sense of place. Highly reflective green paint minimizes the island effect – while transforming the feel of parking areas. Design and collaboration moved the site beyond the seeming limitations of restrictive challenges, to an elevated the space for higher purpose.