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University of Cambridge
Architecture Society

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︎Studio 4, Year 3

Ksenia Slutskaya

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Ever since the 1976 institution of a “containment belt” around Los Angeles’s Skid Row, the district has been home to the most dense unhoused population in the US. Construction of long-term shelter is opposed anywhere outside Skid Row, by local populations, businesses, and landlords alike, all while gentrification pushes the district to contract on all sides. The project proposes a prototypal long-term housing solution for gradual dispensation of Skid Row, preserving the community that its unhoused residents find there. The proposal is sited on a publicly-owned lot neighboring on two vacant private properties. For 5 years upon construction, the it aims to sustain a squat in the abandoned properties until the squatters assume legal possession, in line with California’s squatting regulations. Concealed behind a cantilevered passage and a fake stage-set façade containing yoga studios, the squat and real central spaces of the project rest protected, encouraging of social interaction and recovery. After 5 years, the cork partitions between real and stage-set spaces are dismantled, opening up the entirety of the building to its formerly unhoused residents. The building transforms gradually as its former yoga studios are refurbished into group therapy spaces, seminar and community rooms.

Ksenia Slutskaya

︎Studio 4, Year 3

Year 1