Client: Milan Capital Management
Type: Housing & Re-Use
Studio One Eleven designed the adaptive reuse of an underperforming Class B office into a 106-unit apartment building, with townhomes at the top level and lofts and amenity space on the ground floor. Originally designed by AC Martin and Associates in 1967, the building was commissioned by the General Telephone Company of California to serve as the headquarters for the southern region. The new residential units employ sustainable materials and drought-tolerant landscaping throughout, as well as exposed concrete walls in the corridors, tall ceilings, and balconies with either ocean or city views.
Diagram and analysis provided by: ARUP
The design complements the existing mid-century architecture, queuing in on its history and introducing renewed vibrancy with contemporary touches. While the original building felt insular with an impenetrable facade and dark windows, the renovation has sought to reverse this relationship with the city fabric by inviting views and connectivity back into the building for residents. One goal was to increase daylight and views for residents, which was achieved by doubling all existing windows in size. Additional slots were cut into the concrete bulkhead to make them larger.
While the original concrete structure at the exterior was very plain and repetitive, by introducing pops of color, glazing mullions, and lighting we were able to subtly animate the facade.
A unique approach to the townhomes was the addition of top-floor interior atrium spaces at four of the inbound units. Creating openings in the roof allowed for an inbound bedroom to have direct access to natural light and ventilation with dramatic views through the double-height living room beyond. The building has unobstructed views after level 4 –south side towards the waterfront, Queen Mary and Catalina Island beyond. On the north side towards downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountain range beyond.
As part of the new Long Beach Civic Center, the city recently completed the central, Billie Jean King Library and Lincoln Park, which have dramatically increased the quality of views for units at lower levels and guarantee unobstructed views northward.