HHL Architects, in collaboration with ASA Architects of El Paso, TX, designed this mixed-use low income housing project for local artists and their families. The City of El Paso, along with local foundations, pursued Artspace Projects, Inc. to develop a new mixed-use residential complex to complement the growing urban arts community.
Artspace Projects’ motto is “more space, more height, more light” when they plan their projects for the artist residents. They always ask their Architects to consider providing an inspirational and creative ‘blank slate’ for the residents to make the complex their home, without overly dictating the final aesthetic. Influenced by modern art and architecture, as well as the former industrial heritage of El Paso, HHL Architects teamed with the local firm, ASA Architects, to develop a unique and modern industrial design as a focal point and compelling ‘entry’ to the Northeastern corner of the city’s downtown core. Using simple corrugated and perforated metals, along with golden color quilt of stucco, the building presents a lively and grounded presence for El Paso’s creative culture to convene and live. Perforated metal screens mark the main entry corner, and also provide sun shading for the shared community room. Blue & green colors are painted on the underside of the open exit stairs, glow like neon at night through the perforate metal openings.
The urban sensitive solution is comprised of a 5-story building containing apartments on the upper floors, with brightly color-accented corridors with floating sticks of light functioning as private galleries. A 2nd floor common space provides a multipurpose space with a great view of downtown. The ground floor includes gallery space, and community” storefront” facilities” with glass garage doors to open the interior to the sidewalk, as well as a shared workshop for tenants and the community. Parking is provided behind and under the upper stories in the central courtyard with regionally appropriate landscaping bordering the building, to help make Roderick’s Artspace Loft feel like it has always been on this block.
Fifty-one (51) one-, two-, and three- bedroom live/work loft apartments are provided for El Paso artists, with tall ceilings, concrete floors, and large windows for ample daylight. Artspace worked closely with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs on this innovative and affordable housing project, as well as achieving a LEED Silver certification for energy efficiency.