Portfolio Project Detail

Canvas LA Amber Harris, Sadra Dehghan, and Chet Morgan

CANVAS is an inclusive co-living space which focuses on the well being of the community it serves by providing an adaptable, resilient, and affordable living alternative to conventional housing. To create more affordable living conditions for households within the community, CANVAS co-housing includes services for alternative transportation, child and elderly care, healthy food options, education and training for career development.

CANVAS communities strives to provide options for all styles of living and types of households by offering a menu of customizable cube configurations. The flexibility of the modular cubes allows for a variety of layouts that could match the space needs, lifestyle, and budget of the occupant. The basic cube includes a single bedroom that could have additional elements added on as each community member’s needs change. CANVAS provides a rent-to-own alternative for residents so that a household could relocate to other communities or establish the cube on a site they might acquire.

The cubes are constructed by having a prefabricated 3D printed main structure which would have prefab panels. Elements can be added on to the form to allow for maximum flexibility and the ability to alter a single unit during its use lifetime. To allow for additions, alterations, or replacement of the cubes, the main core of the building includes a vertical void which could be utilized for elevating and installing cubes with minimum disruption to the community. This atrium space also provides opportunity to bring in daylight to the core of the building while also acting as a passive cooling tower to limit the need for conventional air-conditioning. It also improves indoor air quality by circulating fresh air into the building. The main core includes communal living rooms, compostable toilets, showers, kitchen, dining areas, and a variety of amenity spaces.

CANVAS community is shaped around a three-story repeatable format that could be implemented on various sites with varying height limits. Each story includes communal spaces and community amenities as well as space for attaching the modular cubes. Laundry facilities, storage rooms, and open bunk areas are located on every third story. The community spaces in CANVAS LA include a market place and co-working offices provided at the existing structure on site with a community garden on the refurbished roof. The remaining floors will include a community restaurant, child and elderly care, library, maker space, gym, recreation space, and reserveable community room.

CANVAS Los Angeles is designed to spark a Transit Oriented Community development within the arts district. Increasing density at the existing locations of public transportation stops provides the opportunity for locating a transit hub next to the site. In addition, with the construction of the 6th Street Viaduct replacement scheduled to be finished by 2022, 6th street would become a prime candidate for a transit corridor that could serve the arts district with the transit hub located at the heart of the neighborhood. With the potential increase of density in the district at the core of the neighborhood, development opportunity arises for creating a non-motorized corridor surrounded by maker space and studio frontages. This also creates opportunity for improvements along the river shore as well infill development within the district.