The Architects Collective

The Architects Collective

Inglewood, CA


The Beacon

The design of The Beacon embodies the City’s vision for the project as a gateway to downtown Long Beach, calling for a prominent architectural landmark and program for housing veterans and seniors.  As a beacon provides guidance to safe harbor, the building is conceived as a refuge, enabling residents to set personal anchors, restore wellness and strengthen hope. 

Located on Long Beach Boulevard and adjacent to public transit, the project provides 38 furnished units for homeless veterans, 61 furnished units for homeless seniors and 59 units for low-income seniors.  Two building volumes rest on a two-story base containing common areas and retail space.  A public plaza within the corner tower connects to the senior lobby while a mid-block plaza leads to the veterans lobby. Additional program includes a community room, fitness room and social services.  At the courtyard, a clubhouse opens to an outdoor lounge, BBQ area and spa. 

The building’s facade responds to the busy thoroughfare.  As the daily tide of commuters and transit flows to and from the city, the balconies echo the direction of travel; they are open on one side and closed on the other.  Inspired by the beacon concept, the street-level planting design evokes a grounding shoreline, as curvy planted shapes mimic watermarks left by waves rolling upon a beach.  The courtyard landscape design recalls the form and flow of water droplets, with undulating pathways, ovoid rooms and tear-shaped planters offering a counterpoint to the rectilinear architectural form.

Read more

Status: Built
Location: Long Beach, CA, US
Firm Role: Architecture
Additional Credits: Client: Century Affordable Development
Landscape Architect: Studio-MLA