Toy Factory Lofts

Downtown Los Angeles, California

Residential, Residential Adaptive Reuse
About This Project

Client: Linear City LLC

Project Type: Residential Adaptive Reuse

Program: 119 live/work lofts for sale

Floor Area: 251,000 Sq.Ft.


A number of factory structures have been erected over the last two hundred years across the basin of the City of Los Angeles. In response to a burgeoning industrialization, these structures emerged as simple fulfillments of their owner’s needs. They accommodate machine tools and their loads. They provide environmental protection with generous tall workspaces and offer light and cross-ventilation to workers within them. They offer easy access and vertical elevator circulation. Their materials are plain and robust: concrete shells with steel windows. Their relationship to the streetscape is often modest and respectful, but also pragmatic. As intermittent eruptions of enterprise they often rise up as tall edifices in the midst of low development, giving a buoyant skyline to the city.


The Toy Factory Lofts is one of these edifices. Built in 1926 in the southern industrial section of the city, the grandly scaled 7-story factory has seen a number of uses and adapted with ease to new owners. The elegant simplicity of its concrete structure paid off and the impact of time barely registers on its powerful walls and floors. The same steel windows required only basic maintenance repairs to be functioning again with new double glazing.


The developers, Linear City, saw the potential for artist loft living in the toy factory. The motivating vision was a desire to bring life back into the city precinct by encouraging residential development and the establishment of a 24-hour population. In 2000 they purchased the factory and set about obtaining the entitlements from the city, which had recently enacted a series of legislation, the Adaptive Reuse Program, facilitating adaptations of old structures to new uses.


Working with the client, we developed a plan for 120 condominium units framed within the existing column grid and aligning with all the large exterior windows. We further developed rooftop areas for communal use as gardens in the sky. These terraces celebrate views of downtown LA and are open to all residents. The top terrace includes a swimming pool and Jacuzzi with cabanas encircling and a vast wooden deck.