One of the best buildings in Los Angeles has opened in one of the least likely locations.
Crest Apartments, 13604 Sherman Way, is a $20 million dollar, 45,000 s.f., 64-unit apartment for the Skid Row Housing Trust. It is east of Woodman Av.
It provides special needs support for the chronically homeless as well as veterans. Social services and a federally supported health clinic are part of the complex.
Architect Michal Maltzan designed a five story tall, tautly elegant building. Rising subtly from its garish surroundings of motels, billboards, discarded furniture, speeding cars and urban decay, Crest Apartments is a crisp, all-white façade with no signage and no ornamentation.
Mr. Malzan has experience designing many lauded buildings, including another homeless project near downtown, New Carver Apartments, which has received many awards.
There is irony in the fact that an exquisite, understated and artful building will now house a marginalized group of people.
The Crest Project is but a drop in the bucket of solutions to the appalling and obscene homelessness afflicting our city.
In a better nation, morality, money, architecture and the public good would join hands to build a more humane and aesthetic city. But reality favors bluster, bravado and bragging.
Some of the ugliest housing in Van Nuys and greater Los Angeles is still going up for those who feign affluence and success.