Category Archives: 3D Model

Schindler Church Open House, part 1

Bethlehem Baptist Church courtyard 2014-2-7steve wallet architect Bethlehem Baptist Church 2013-4-27 copyYour first chance to see Schindler’s  only church!

See my Schindler research at SCHINDLER INDEX

Also see Schindler Open House, part 2

When I first saw the Bethlehem Baptist Church last year I immediately fell in love with it, but I was saddened by its condition. Underneath the peeling paint, graffiti and years of neglect was a bold design. That set me off on a year of research into this amazing building.

steve wallet architect BBC Open House flyer 2014-3-14Schindler designed the Church in 1944 for a black congregation in an urban neighborhood in South LA. It was sold after the original congregation moved out of the neighborhood. It passed through a number of owners, none with the resources to maintain it. It has been abandoned and boarded up for years.

Recently I got some wonderful news. The Church has been repaired and a new congregation, Faith Build International, is moving in. They are having an Open House at the Church next month. This is the first time anyone has been able to see the marvelous, light-filled interior in many years.

Bethlehem Baptist Church Open House
Saturday, April 12, 2014
11AM to 1PM
4901 Compton Ave., Los Angeles  90001

Download the Open House pdf by clicking on the flyer photo.

This event is open to the public – so this is your chance to see this hidden gem. Take my word for it, the only way to really experience a Schindler building is to visit it – photographs can’t fully convey his buildings.

See you at the Open House!

PS I will be writing a series of articles on the design of the Church. This image is a peek at what’s to come – the church in its original colors. Stay tuned.
steve wallet architect Bethlehem Baptist Church 3-16-2014

Creating a Master Suite as a Quiet Retreat, part 2

house addition 3D modelsteve wallet architect addition final plan 11-13-2013My clients selected the Tower scheme. The roof deck was removed due to its cost.

I thought about how to shape the addition, and how it would fit in with the existing back of the house. The existing house’s design is modest, the front of the house is the only place with any detail. The rest of the house is plain stucco walls with vinyl windows. I felt the addition should be different from, and more interesting than, the current back of the house, but it needed to be economical and fit with the house.steve wallet architect small addition front 2013-11-13steve wallet architect small addition interior 2013-11-13

The final design is shown in the top 4 images. It is based on, but a little different from, the current house. The main roof over the addition is a continuation of the roof over the main house. The resulting shed roof creates a tall space in the master bedroom that opens up to the back yard and its new landscaping.steve wallet architect small addition exterior 1 2013-11-13

The master should open up to the backyard, but it should also be a little separated from it. I created thick walls with recessed openings and a deep roof overhang to create a sense of separation and enclosure for the master bedroom patio. It was only later that I realized that my approach; thick walls, recessed openings and deep roof, was similar to the existing design of the front of the house (bottom 2 images). My recesses steve wallet architect small addition front analysis 11-13-2013wrap around the corner where the existing recesses are in the middle of a wall, and my roof is a shed – half of the gable shape on the rest of the house.steve wallet architect small addition design concept 11-13-2013

The colors on the existing house are a little tame for me – beige on beige with white trim. After my clients rejected my initial purple addition, I settled on deep shades of brown.

Small Lot Subdivision Prototype

small lot subdivision frot 3D modelsteve wallet architect small lot prototype flyer 2013-11-12A new form of infill housing

The most common way to own multi-family homes, in the United States, is condominiums. Condominiums have been around for years, but they have some problems:

.Home Owners’ Association fees, rules and conflicts with owners

.Increased liability for developers, architects and owners.

.Difficulty getting construction and mortgage financingsteve wallet architect small lot prototype living 2013-11-12

A new form of ownership has been developed to address these problems – the Small Lot Subdivision (SLS). In a small lot subdivision an infill lot (a lot in an existing multi-family neighborhood) is subdivided into smaller lots. A house is put on each of the lots. The homes may look like they are attached to each other, but in fact they are separate, connected only by the sheet metal that covers the air space between them. There is no Home Owners’ Association.steve wallet architect small lot prototype entry 2013-11-12

Los Angeles adopted this concept in 2005. San Diego is working on its own Small Lot Ordinance. I designed this Small Lot Subdivision prototype to test San Diego’s current draft ordinance.

The Design

As with my affordable prototype, I won’t be showing the plans and giving details here. If you are interested in this SLS prototype, please use my contact form to get in touch.steve wallet architect small lot prototype master bedroom 2013-11-12

I decided to design for a difficult condition (small lot, limited access and high density) because that’s where you learn the most about the possibilities and limitations of an ordinance. I chose a 50’ wide x 100’ deep lot. I used the most limited automobile access, from the street in front of the property. There is no alley or side (corner lot) access. And I chose one of the highest density SLS zones, which allows the most homes, the most building mass and the tallest building height.steve wallet architect small lot prototype front yard 2013-11-12

Because each house in a SLS sits on its own small lot, solutions favor townhouses (multi-story homes with small footprints). In this design townhouse homes are grouped around a motor court, accessed from the street.

The design illustrates some of the advantages of small lot subdivisions over more conventional high density, condominium buildings:

. Less bulky than the maximum allowed by zoning (see blocks representing the maximum bulk allowed on either side of image 1).

.Variety in the design. From top to bottom the same unit isn’t just stacked on top of itself from floor to floor. To emphasize that these are separate homes, each unit can have a different but compatible design.

.Building mass has more variety, with more stepbacks, offsets and recesses

.Private front doors on the street  emphasize the individual nature of the homes and bring activity to the street.

Image Notes
.Click on second image from top to download my 1 page pdf flyer on my SLS prototype
.Front yard design includes a low water use landscape design, with a little help from my friends.