Practical ideas aren’t often the stuff of architecture contests. Right off the bat, that set Los Angeles’s Low-Rise design challenge apart.
A project led by the mayor’s office and the city’s chief design officer, Christopher Hawthorne, Low-Rise asked entrants to reimagine what an L.A. urban landscape with abundant housing could look like in the years to come. The organizers wanted the participating designers to think about their submissions the way they might approach a project for a local client or community. The results, which were unveiled this week, don’t look like future-forward science fiction, but rather doable local solutions to a thorny problem: the stubborn lack of affordable options across the city.