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Biscuit Company Lofts

Los Angeles, California
Aleks Istanbullu Architects

A former cookie and cracker factory becomes home for Biscuit Company Lofts' tenants.

Located in a neighborhood that has transformed from turn-of-the century Victorian residences, to a bustling industrial, office, and retail district in the 1920s, to a neglected area of disrepair in the late 20th century, Biscuit Company Lofts is part of a redevelopment movement to revitalize abandoned industrial structures into work-live lofts.

Biscuit Company Lofts
Photo © Tom Bonner Photography

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Aleks Istanbullu Architects staff
Photo courtesy Aleks Istanbullu Architects
Aleks Istanbullu Architects staff

The 7-story historic 1925 National Biscuit Company factory now offers 50 different unit-plans with distinct details like alcoves and high ceilings. The architectural redesign preserves the spirit and detail of the original building designed by E.J. Eckel. The natural grain and respecting parameters exploit the initial structure, while the transformed spaces and present-day materials juxtapose the industrial features with contemporary design.

The quality of original construction allowed the reuse of many period materials. One-inch maple floors, terrazzo tile, industrial-size bronze windows, sandblasted brickwork, brass lamps, copper doors, and two original Otis freight elevators were incorporated into the new design. These historic features create a palimpsest that reveals the industrial history of the spaces, providing a tactile experience that embraces the past.

The need to strengthen the building to meet Los Angeles’ earthquake codes presented an opportunity to expose the structure and use the rough concrete walls on one side of the hallways, and curved or canted drywalls on the other.

The large factory floor plates are now part of the residential plan of corridors and hallways that accommodate the residential units, each with a distinct character. Single-story units range from 605 to 2,115 square feet. Seventeen exclusive units with 2- to 4-stories and nearly 6,000-square-feet of living space include an individual rooftop garden patio. 

Formal name of project: Biscuit Company Lofts

Location: Los Angeles, California

Gross square footage: 187,000 sq.ft.

Total construction cost: $25 million

Completion Date: March 2007

Owner: 673 Mateo LLC

Architect:
Aleks Istanbullu Architects
1659 11th Street, Suite 200
Santa Monica, CA  90404
 (310) 450-8246
www.ai-architects.com

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