An Old L.A. Motel Becomes a Vibrant Homeless Shelter, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

The Alvarado. Photography by Nerin Kadribegovic

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An Old L.A. Motel Becomes a Vibrant Homeless Shelter

As Los Angeles continues to grapple with an extreme homelessness problem, the city is exploring ideas like pre-approved ADUs and supportive housing complexes of tiny homes. One creative solution comes courtesy of Los Angeles County’s nonprofit partner Hope the Mission, which tapped local firm Kadre Architects to transform a dilapidated 43-room motel into a vibrant shelter that provides beds for families experiencing homelessness. It’s a project of personal resonance for Kadre founder Nerin Kadribegovic, a refugee of the wars in Yugoslavia and Bosnia, which galvanized his interest in addressing homelessness through design.

The formerly abandoned Alvarado motel breathes new life into a Westlake block thanks to vibrant blue-and-white graphics on the facade spelling out “hope.” Eye-catching colors continue inside, where color blocks in exuberant yellow, purple, and green impart the feeling of moving through a colorful composition. “We used the palette to enliven spaces and bring about a sense of ownership,” the studio says. “Paint goes a long way when budgets are low.” The Alvarado is the first of three projects earmarked by Hope the Mission’s Project Homekey initiative; two similar shelters, also by Kadre, will open this year. —Ryan Waddoups

Gabriela Hearst. Photography by Katie Thompson/Surface

Gabriela Hearst will depart Chloé after a three-year stint as the label’s creative director.

Chloé is experiencing some significant changes this fall. Gabriela Hearst will be departing the fashion house after three years, during which she led the brand’s transformation into a sustainable and purpose-driven company while achieving solid revenue gains. Hearst will present her final collection for the spring 2024 season at Paris Fashion Week, as she wishes to focus on her own brand and other projects. As a final collaboration, Hearst has arranged a partnership between Chloé and actress Angelina Jolie, who recently launched her own fashion house called Atelier Jolie, with a focus on sustainability and inclusivity.

Beirut’s Sursock Museum finally reopens after the deadly explosion three years ago.

Lebanon’s Sursock Museum has reopened to the public after being closed for three years due to the devastating Beirut port explosion in August 2020. The museum, located half a mile away from the blast site, suffered severe damage to its structure and artwork. Through a restoration project supported by various donors, including the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas, the museum repaired the building, restored damaged artworks, and improved its sustainability. 

The Chicago Architecture Biennial unveils the lineup of participants for its fifth edition.

The Chicago Architecture Biennial has unveiled its lineup of participants for its fifth edition, curated by the Floating Museum collective. Titled “This is a Rehearsal,” the biennial will explore the community-oriented aspects of architecture and its ability to enhance urban life and promote communal responsibility. With more than 100 activations including installations and performances, the event aims to encourage contemplation of the impact of physical infrastructure, societal history, aesthetics, and spatial design on society. The exhibition will feature a diverse range of artists, architects, designers, poets, filmmakers, anthropologists, historians, institutions, and civic leaders, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and envisioning innovative futures for design.

A still from the upcoming 'Barbie' movie. Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The new Barbie film’s set construction caused an international shortage of pink paint. 

As the live-action Barbie film’s premiere approaches, the production team has started unveiling details about the movie, including their contribution to a global pink paint shortage. Director Greta Gerwig and production designer Sarah Greenwood aimed to capture the whimsical and vibrant essence of Barbie’s world, creating a set filled with pink props, sets, and costumes. To achieve this, they obtained pink paint from Rosco, which eventually led to an international shortage of the signature shade. 

The Smithsonian has selected Perkins & Will to design the Bezos Learning Center.

The Smithsonian has selected Perkins & Will to design the Bezos Learning Center, which will be situated on the east side of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The center, funded by a donation from Jeff Bezos, aims to provide space for educational programs and activities and will include a restaurant for museum visitors. Perkins & Will was chosen based on its experience in museum and educational facility design, as well as its integration of sustainable design strategies. Construction is expected to commence in 2025.

Air New Zealand will start weighing passengers before they can board the airplane.

New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority has implemented a program at Auckland International Airport, where passengers departing on international flights will be asked to step on a digital scale during check-in until July 2. Air New Zealand refers to this as a “passenger weight survey” aimed at gathering data on weight load and distribution for planes. The airline assures passengers that the data will be kept anonymous and emphasizes that no visible display of their weight will be shown to anyone, including the airline staff.

Ronnie Fieg x Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation x New Balance 998 “Broadacre City” capsule. Image courtesy of Ronnie Fieg

Today’s attractive distractions:

The story of a catatonic woman awoken after 20 years may change psychiatry.

Meet the ingenious librarians who foresaw our world of distributed knowledge. 

Architecture-branded merch devalues the profession, writes Ryan Scavnicky.

Instacart is giving away limited-edition perfume that smells like “cash back.”

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