St. Marks / Crescent Hotel
Designers: Vicki Wong + Tam Nguyen
Location: St. Marks / Crescent Hotel, Los Angles, California
Type: Adaptive Reuse
Number of Units: N/A
Major: Interior Design
Our design for the new Century/St Marks Hotel is focused on giving formerly homeless individuals a highly social environment. We were inspired to design a strong community space after visiting Skid Row. We saw how vital the relationships were between individuals as they occupied the streets. With that in mind, we decided that stairs are both a useful form of circulation but are also spaces that can be inhabited as a social gathering space. We designed the stairs so each landing would connect and form a bridge and a walkway to the different units on each floor. In some areas, the landing would also overlook the pond and gathering space that happens on the ground floor. With the stairs being our dominant design in this building, we exposed it to the street level to open up the facade and allow passersby to understand both the internal life of the building the interaction between the two building.
Having light flood into the building was also a important impetus for the design. We expanded the existing light wells so every unit and every space would get a fair amount of light. The living conditions of each individual were very important to the way we designed the unit space. We wanted to give each person an efficient space by utilizing each surface and space as much as possible. We designed a table that would become a work surface and would form into a kitchen counter top as well. The headboard to the bed is a customized piece with horizontal sliding shelves for the display of special objects. This design of this highly social and well lit building would hopefully give the new residents a better place to live and allow the formerly homeless people to start their lives anew.