Intervention – Time to Celebrate

April 2007

Congratulations go to Jeffrey M. Kalban and Associates Architecture. Last month, the firm receive a “special” AIA Housing Award for the headquarters of People Assisting The Homeless, a Los Angeles nonprofit providing social services and temporary shelter. The 40,000-square-foot 1960’s warehouse – in a stretch of Hollywood far from the paparazzi – was a disaster when Jeffrey Kalban arrived. “Still, it was the socially responsible thing to do,” he says of the $5 million project.

On the functional side, work involved excavating the foundations, waterproofing, reinforcing masonry, installing new mechanicals, and refinishing the concrete and stucco façade. Kalban also modernized an existing brise soleil with fins of precast concrete and punched out a recess to frame four windows. He painted this niche a brilliant yellow, just like the entry block below, while slender structural columns got three coats of lilac and vermillion; the rest of the exterior is a matte white.

Right below the roofline, brightly colored enameled panels spell out the organization’s acronym, PATH – and cleverly conceal air handlers and cooling towers.
Kalban modeled the user-friendly ground floor on a shopping mall, with offices for 19 agencies set up behind simulated storefronts. On floors two and three, dormitories and private rooms offer a total of 98 beds, divided between men and women.

The project took precisely two and a half years to complete. Kalban was keeping track on one of the bespoke watches he also designs. The one shown is 18-karat gold and mother-of-pearl with a leather strap.

-Edie Cohen

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