Over the past two decades, Michael Maltzan Architecture have designed a variety of innovative, permanent supportive housing developments for the Skid Row Housing Trust in Los Angeles. Founded in 1995, Maltzan’s award-winning practice is dedicated to the design and construction of projects which engage their context and community through a concentrated exploration of movement and perception. The Skid Row projects serve formerly homeless people who are HIV-positive, the elderly, veterans, View more
Over the past two decades, Michael Maltzan Architecture have designed a variety of innovative, permanent supportive housing developments for the Skid Row Housing Trust in Los Angeles. Founded in 1995, Maltzan’s award-winning practice is dedicated to the design and construction of projects which engage their context and community through a concentrated exploration of movement and perception. The Skid Row projects serve formerly homeless people who are HIV-positive, the elderly, veterans, and/or those suffering from chronic physical and psychological disabilities. They not only provide affordable housing but also critical social infrastructure, such as health care and supportive services, that help individuals lead more stable lives.
While Maltzan has cautioned that architects have to be realistic about architecture’s ability to create wholesale social change, he has also asserted that architecture can’t stand back, and must assume an active role in the realization of sociological and psychological benefits that entities like the Housing Trust are trying to make possible.
In the 20th Annual John T. Dunlop Lecture, presented by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, Maltzan will discuss his work with the Skid Row Housing Trust and what it suggests about the ways in which architecture and other design professions can help address problems of housing affordability and homelessness. After the lecture, Mike Alvidrez, CEO Emeritus of the Skid Row Housing Trust and Helen Leung, Co-Executive Director of LA-Más, a non-profit urban design organization in Los Angeles, will provide comments and context about the lower-income and underserved communities they serve in Los Angeles. Sarah Whiting, Dean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture at the GSD will moderate the discussion.
Michael Maltzan, FAIA, MArch ’88, founded Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc. in 1995. Through a deep belief in architecture’s role in our cities and landscapes, he has succeeded in creating new cultural and social connections across a range of scales and programs. Michael received a Master of Architecture degree with a Letter of Distinction from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and he holds both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design where he received the Henry Adams AIA Gold Medal. His designs have been published and exhibited internationally and he regularly teaches and lectures at architectural schools around the world. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award.
Having devoted 28 years to ending homelessness with Skid Row Housing Trust, 14 of those years as Executive Director then Chief Executive Officer, Mike Alvidrez continues to serve the Trust following his retirement in a newly created External Ambassador role. He continues to promote the work of the Trust’s affordable and permanent supportive housing services as an evidence-based solution to breaking the cycle of homelessness. Mike is an advocate of Housing First, an innovative strategy that prioritizes the security of a permanent home as the first step to ending homelessness. Thanks to his hands-on experience, he pioneered the development of permanent supportive housing to help those facing the toughest challenges to obtaining stability and wellness. During his tenure, the Trust has become a nationally recognized provider of permanent supportive housing that is on the forefront of building and program design. By creating beautiful, dignified buildings with on-site support services, the Trust alters both how people view our residents and how our residents view themselves. A native Angelino with a Master’s degree from UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Mike previously worked for Community Corporation of Santa Monica.
Helen Leung, MPP ‘11, is the Co-Executive Director of LA-Más, a non-profit urban design organization that helps lower-income and underserved communities shape their future through policy and architecture. She is a Los Angeles native raised in the Frogtown neighborhood by a working class, first generation Chinese family. Growing up in an immigrant community, she deeply identifies with the rich diversity that makes Los Angeles so unique. With mentorship from local leaders, Helen became the first person in her family to go to college. Helen joined LA-Más because of her passion to explore strategies that minimize displacement pressures that come with gentrification. Helen provides leadership at LA-Más by ensuring all projects are grounded in local need and systemic change. Helen has extensive policy and community-based experience having worked for former LA City Council President and current Mayor Eric Garcetti. Her national policy and program experience includes her work as Program Associate at Living Cities, fellowship at the Office of Sustainable Housing & Communities at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, and internship at the Office of Political Affairs at the White House under President Obama’s administration. Helen serves on the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, a member of Genesis LA’s Community Advisory Board, and on the Board of the Elysian Valley Arts Collective. She holds a master’s degree in public policy and urban planning from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communications from the University of Pennsylvania.