Design firm Studio One Eleven is building on its shipping container work with a new supportive housing project. Watts Works is a joint venture development from Decro Corp., Daylight Community Development and The People Concern, and features 24 studio apartments for low-income residents. It uses shipping containers for the four-story project and a modular-style construction, both of which drive down costs and boost efficiency.

“Southern California desperately needs housing at all income levels. Due to the high costs of new housing, most projects coming on line are focused on the luxury market,” Michael Bohn, senior principal at Studio One Eleven, tells “Even affordable housing is becoming quite expensive to complete. We are intrigued with alternative construction methodologies as one approach to lower construction costs in order to help alleviate the affordability crisis. During site planning, we also look for alternatives from conventional methods that create greater value. In this case, steel modular containers work well with the site parameters, project scale and unit size, all of which expedite the construction schedule and reduce overall costs.”

This specific site, located at 9502 S. Compton Avenue, of the project was also conducive to this style of construction. “As a design methodology, Studio One Eleven also studied the site and surrounding neighborhood to understand how to shape the building and corresponding garden spaces,” says Bohn. “We located the majority of the building mass along 95th Street and used a roof garden to step the height down towards the adjacent neighbor along Compton Avenue. We also carved-out a side yard to save an existing heritage tree. This will help screen the building from the neighbors to the south, as well as preserve an asset for the neighborhood.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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