- Project Name
- Trebek Center Bridge Housing
- DNA Architecture + Design
- Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission
- Project Types
- Affordable Housing
- Project Scope
- Adaptive Reuse
- 22,924 sq. feet
- Shared by
- Madeleine D'Angelo
- Project Status
- On the Boards/In Progress
This article appeared in the November/December 2021 issue of ARCHITECT.
For 63 years, Northridge Skateland was an icon in its namesake northern Los Angeles neighborhood, welcoming generations of visitors to its maple-floored roller-skating rink. But, after months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 23,000-square-foot facility permanently shuttered its doors in March. With local government support and funding from individual donors, the California nonprofit Hope of the Valley purchased the property with the intent of transforming the rink into Trebek Center Bridge Housing, a supportive, 107-bed interim shelter, as part of the city’s 2018 A Bridge Home initiative. Designed by the local firm DNA Architecture + Design, the adaptive reuse project aims to ease the city’s ongoing housing crisis, merging design dignity with a sustainable response to community needs.
Having worked with Hope of the Valley on Raymer Street Homeless Shelter, completed in 2020, DNA had an idea of the project’s program requirements. However, fitting everything into the existing, rectilinear structure presented a puzzle. The primary design challenge, says DNA founding principal Valéry Augustin, AIA, was starting with “a facility that was not designed for anybody to be living there.”
The former rink’s open interior proved adaptable, allowing the design team to fill the space with individual bedrooms, administrative offices, and community spaces. When it came to daylighting, DNA addressed the building’s long span by going upward, removing the existing acoustical ceiling to expose structural wood trusses and carve out skylights. The now nearly 30-foot ceilings also foster an airy volume that can “positively affect” residents, Augustin says. “They’re going to be spending some considered amount of time in this facility. Let’s create a space that can hopefully help them along that journey.”
The design team crafted a careful scale between private spaces for residents and larger communal areas that connect to landscaped outdoor areas. Inside, the project offers “pockets of space for one-on-one interactions,” Augustin says. “You create more informal opportunities for interacting.”
DNA experimented with color throughout the design, selecting different hues to delineate different building zones and create calming spaces for residents. The paint colors inject “playfulness and whimsy” into the space without incurring extra cost, economically creating “a place that people actually want to be in,” Augustin says. “Somebody who has been living on the street can recognize when they’re just being warehoused in a space.”
With construction scheduled for completion in 2022, Augustin hopes that Trebek Center Bridge Housing will embody a form of “social sustainability” that connects the residence with its surrounding community, he says. “The building gets to live on and the story of the building also gets to live on. That keeps it part of the community."
Project: Trebek Center Bridge Housing, Los Angeles
Client/Owner: Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission
Architect: DNA Architecture + Design, Inc., Los Angeles. Valery Augustin, AIA (principal), Caroline Fletcher (job captain)
Interior Designer: DNA Architecture + Design, Inc
Mechanical Engineer: Flores Engineering, Inc.
Structural Engineer: JYC Engineering + ERN Design
Electrical Engineer: Flores Engineering, Inc.
Civil Engineer: George Markov, MS, PE
Construction Manager: Steven Weiss
General Contractor: PCL Construction
Landscape Architect: Office of the Designed Landscape. Esther Margulies (principal), Jaime Yamashita (associate)
Size: 22,924 square feet
Cost: $6.7 million