The Platform is a collaborative design/build project for Watts House Project (WHP), a non-profit neighborhood redevelopment organization located in South Central Los Angeles. The Platform is part of a grassroots effort to transform three dilapidated shotgun houses on 107th Street to establish a cultural destination accommodating administrative offices, a community-run coffee shop, gardens, exhibition spaces and a meeting hall. Assistant Professor Victor Jones united members from the community, an artist, two grant agencies, and five students from USC’s School of Architecture to realize the project.
Students worked alongside local residents to envision the insertion of a multi-purpose surface that redefines the entire site. One continuous wall sheathes the front elevations of two existing structures and encloses the open space between them to create two new public spaces: a pocket park along the sidewalk and an internalized courtyard space. The collaborative team identified existing forms of fence enclosure in the surrounding neighborhood to imagine how a ubiquitous residential element could be adopted to serve institutional and commercial needs. The subtle manipulation of property enclosure allows the Platform to fit comfortably within its residential setting while adapting to specific performative needs.
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