The American Institute of Architects awarded Arbor Lofts, a 21 unit affordable housing for artists in Lancaster, California, the HUD Secretary’s Award for “Creating Community Connection.”
While the community in Lancaster and the Antelope Valley continues putter along in difficult economic times, it is encouraging to have the community acknowledged for an innovative design. Indeed, we are far from bankrupt on ideas.
Arbor Lofts seems to be designed to spark an artist’s Renaissance of sorts. It is part of the Downtown Specific Plan to transform the historic core of the city from neglected and vacant to a “place of historic, cultural, social, economic, and civic vitality.”
The building is designed with its artist residents in mind and an eye toward sustainability. The ground floor features a gallery of the residents work. Abundant natural light and mechanical ventilation serves the sometimes noxious artistic process. Finished concrete floors would seem to make cleaning paint or other messy art supplies a breeze and 220-volt outlet for equipment such as a kiln expands the horizons of what might spring forth from this creative milieu.
In a period of difficulty, the community of Lancaster appears to be in a process of seeking innovative ways to reorganize itself to better serve its residents. I share this not only to expand optimism and hope, but to remind everybody that challenge presents opportunity to renew ourselves.
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