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The Public Hotel Project

THE PUBLIC HOTEL PROJECT

The No Vacancy Story in Los Angeles
1. Introduction

THE PUBLIC HOTEL

Tapping into Vacant Lands for Public Infrastructure

As our cities grow, many irregular and interstitial sites are left unseen or underutilized. What are the possibilities for these public yet dormant sites? Could there be a new kind of imagine a new kind of civic infrastructure distributed across the city?

The Public Hotel explores the potential for geospatial analysis and generative urban design to confront public issues across Los Angeles. 

Separated by neighborhoods, streets and infrastructure, remnant sites fed into a system for analysis, allocation, and design.

In doing so, we create the potential for urban design to be an act of coordinated intervention. The Public Hotel approaches the city as a whole and its fragments.

Allocation and use of urban land is one part of a larger systemic approach to address homelessness.
We need innovative publicly-owned Infrastructure that can be key community anchors to address issues of homelessness.
Underutilized of city-owned lands is an asset that must be used for public service.
We must identify and analyze these potential underused sites

No Vacancy // Public Hotel investigates the potentials of vacant site. This project leverages the capabilities of combinatory scripting, parametric optimization, and geospatial analytics to use County District 4 Site as a public network of supportive infrastructure.

This website is a repository of the various tools and theoretical positions that were taken in the production of this project. It is our intention that our work can be used as the foundation for future research in leveraging the combination of GIS and parametric/procedural technologies to create proposals for difficult sites within modern cities. 

THE ISSUES

The most prominent issues in LA Council District 4 has been that of homelessness and transportation. LA-CD4 is one of the most geographically, ecologically and economically diverse districts in Los Angeles.

 

Our research showed that CD4’s homeless population was significantly less than the other Council Districts. However the homeless population density in key locations in the district was almost as high as downtown. Once mapped, we find that CD4 can be thought of as various clusters contained by the limitations of the terrain. In other words, CD4 is highly context specific. Any proposal that examines the urban issues of CD4 should acknowledge that is it both highly dispersed yet context specific. What systems would architects and planners need to be able to manage dispersed and context specific proposals?

Homelessness in Los Angeles →

Los Angeles is still seeing a steady rise in homelessness despite various initiatives.

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Homelessness in Council District 4 →

Council District 4 is the primary case study for this project. It’s home to one of the many districts in Los Angeles and home to the neighborhoods of Hollywood, Griffith Park, Toluca Lake and Van Nuys is the area of interest that our project examines first.  
There are 1,072 people experiencing homelessness in LA Council District 4. 952 of those people experiencing homelessness are unsheltered.

Council District 4 homeless population increased by 16% between 2019 and 2020. 

Homeless Density Map

Certain geographic areas of Council District 4 have homeless densities similar to Downtown Los Angeles. Unpopulated hills of Council District result in an uneven distribution of homelessness – possibly leading to perceiving higher rates of homelessness. 

Demographic Density

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Food Access in Los Angeles→

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The Opportunities →

One key asset in CD4 are the many forgotten or underused vacant sites across this sprawling district. Cataloging these sites and identifying their strengths can lead us toward a district-wide strategic proposal.

Let’s talk about underutilized land.

Here are the facts.

Publicly Vacant Land – while not 

Single Family housing represents X% of total land-use in the area.

County District 4 is one of the 14 County Districts in the City of Los Angeles. 

11,100,000 Square Meters / 119,480,000 Square Feet of Vacant Private and Public Parcels

Here are four potential site anchors. 

  • 01

    Homelessness and Housing

  • 02

    Urban Farming and Food Access

  • 03

    Mobility and Transit

  • 04

    Flexible Network of Public Armatures

Research
Urban Strategy
Combinatory Form Systems
Low-Fi Prototyping

Sources:

ZIMAS
Los Angeles Geohub
LA County Enterprise GIS


The Program →

What is the Public Hotel?

Public Housing, Affordable Housing, and Transitional Housing have had so much negative associations

What is public? Over time our attitudes towards public infrastructure, such as transit, affordable homes have deterioted. Largely – this may have to do with 

 

Public Infrastructure in America and Around The World

Public Housing, Affordable Housing, and Transitional Housing have had so much negative associations

What is public? Over time our attitudes towards public infrastructure, such as transit, affordable homes have deterioted. Largely – this may have to do with 

 

“Fitting” Sites with Programs

To find appropriate programs for each site, we created a matrix to rank the following properties:

1. Floor Area
2. Shape Regularity
3. Park Access
4. Land-value
5. Residential Adjacency
6. Commercial Adjacency

Horizontal Farm Matrix

Primary Desired Indices

Floor Area
Shape Regularity
Land-value

Vertical Farm Matrix

Primary Desired Indices

Floor Area
Shape Regularity
Land-value

Transitional Housing Matrix

Floor Area
Shape Regularity
Land-value

Composite or Combined Programs

Vacant Site Index

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Generative Design and Analytics

Using the factors from the Vacant Site Matrix, we can feed a generative design system that can output multiple proposals for all 78 sites. Simultaneously leveraging the strengths of each site while aligning with a broader collective system.

CONTACT INFORMATION

DESIGN AND RESEARCH: Ian Dayagbil – @rom.id
DESIGN AND RESEARCH: Calvin Sin – @sys_cal
EMAIL: hello@publichotelproject.com
INSTITUTION: SCI-Arc, Los Angeles

The Public Hotel Project

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