This project represents the expansion and renovation of a non-profit addiction recovery center in Los Angeles. Located in a light industrial / transitional residential neighborhood along a major urban boulevard, the renovation encompassed a former adjoining retail building that was gutted and radically transformed with a second story and a new exterior identity.
The center offers residents a therapeutic community where principals of Jewish spirituality combined with 12-step and psychotherapy guide residents on a path to healing the whole self. The architect let the unique ethos inspire the design solutions.
The center desired new, larger flexible community spaces and additional offices. The primary gathering space had to perform numerous functions: resident dining, group therapy, fitness and yoga, and was to serve as a sanctuary for Shabbat services. The new intensely tectonic exterior creates a new unified identity for the donor dependent center while giving dignity and purpose to the mostly young residents. Exterior shading devices also provide filtered light to give south-facing spaces a remarkably soft, transcendent glow.
Inside, a clean, crisp aesthetic provides a metaphorical and—literal—blank canvas for the display of art produced by the residents. The architect kept a simple palette of white for the lower surfaces, but created more impact on higher surfaces; for example, on the coved ceiling of the Sanctuary. The intent of having rich textures overhead and light from above was to lift up one’s gaze and in doing so, uplift the person to greater potential, self-confidence and spiritual guidance.