According to the Los Angeles Times, in 2017, the recidivism rate of the formerly incarcerated population in Los Angeles was nearly 50%. It does not take much to imagine why the numbers are so high for this demographic when they are faced with the challenges of an increasingly demanding job market and the lack of affordable housing options available. La Cima addresses the missed opportunity to grow the local workforce by providing the facilities to foster productive interactions amongst its users. Observing ongoing market trends, the growing demand for quality craft goods (opposed to mass produced ones) will become an appropriate outlet for this untapped workforce. The reintegrating population will have the means to contribute their time and energy to produce goods which will, in turn, stimulate the local economy under the guidance of experts that have a stake in the process of production. Driving these activities are the young professionals that will support the onsite activities. The extent of their involvement with the onsite programs will serves as a metric to the success of the project.
The project consists of three main types of spaces: public/retail, production/training, and housing. With the public/retail spaces located at the street level, these spaces draw users from its context to support and experience the site within its most dynamic aspect, the marketplace. The appeal of these public areas is that they create opportunities for the exchange of goods and/or services that are generated locally onsite from the production/training spaces above which serve our onsite residents.
The project is a playful extension of the historic structure echoing the visual language of the arches of the existing building. The size, orientation, and magnitude of these arches flexes with its designated program. The massing of the building gradually increases in volume along with its degree of privacy in its use. As the users make their way up the building, the arches frame the surrounding views in all directions further enriching the co-living experience.