Collective Frameworks / Chinatown Los Angeles


01 / New Chinatown

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prevented Chinese Immigrants from owning land and becoming citizens.

Old Chinatown was demolished and replaced by Union Station, leaving many individuals displaced unable to own land.

There was a desire to build a gathering space for the Chinese Community that at the same time could be welcome for tourists and visitors. The Chinese community were isolated with minimal cultural exchange which, in a way, preserved their traditional culture.

The discrimination toward Chinese immigrants in the USA due to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882-1943 affected property ownership and the Chinese-American community. The Los Angeles Chinatown Project Association planned fundraising, site acquisition, design, and construction of New Chinatown.

02 / Community

When visiting the surrounding community of Chinatown in Los Angeles, our class spoke to various organizations and individuals in regards to their priorities for a new proposed construction in the area.

  • Grocery Store
  • Night Market
  • Wellness Center
  • Workshops
  • Outdoor Gardens
  • Classroom Spaces
  • Cultural Center
  • Outdoor Gathering Spaces
  • Laundry Rooms
  • Art Classes
  • Exhibition Spaces
  • Cultural Performance Spaces

03 / Proposed Site

Lot 24 is located at 419 W College St, Los Angeles, CA 90012. It is currently a public parking lot in which several developers have offered varying businesses and programs to build on the site.

For this project, I proposed programs based on the community’s needs that encourage community, outdoor spaces, classrooms, and cultural exchange. The residential floor plans consist of studios, single bedroom and 2 bedroom units.

The resident users will be entrepreneurs, retired individuals, teachers, and students. The offices, resident café, laundry and small business retails spaces will appeal to entrepreneur’s and individuals in the community.

Elderly and retired individuals that are connected to the community will be able to enjoy outdoor music nights on the ground floor of the site, be able to volunteer at the cultural center and assist in taking care of the community garden.

Teachers at local high schools nearby and families with children will be able to use the community daycare, attend music nights on the ground floor, use the library spaces and enjoy the community garden.

The architectural design of this project aims to give respect towards existing buildings in Chinatown. Each unit is provided a balcony to overlook the surrounding neighborhood. The elevated pathways and atriums to allow for sunlight into the central spaces and provide moments for community interaction between residences throughout the project.