architecture blog

Recent Articles Published Featuring Modative

Posted by Krystal Navar on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 @ 07:03 AM

Modative has been featured in a couple of recent articles: one in the Los Angeles Business Journal and another in Architect Magazine. Yay us! Check them out below. 

Published February 23, the Los Angeles Business Journal's cover story, "Tight Market", looks at the design challenges of small lot homes. (To learn more about the Small Lot Subdivision ordinance, download our handy guide and information packet.)

LA_Business_Journal_Cover_Story

Modative featured in Los Angeles Business Journal cover story titled "Tight Market".

LA_Business_Journal_Small_Lot

Christian Návar in front of the Fay 3x Homes, designed and built by Modative. Fay 2x Homes and Fay Phase III are visible in the background.

 

Posted February 1 to Architect Magazine's website, an article titled "Time Management" looks at the techniques managers employ to stay organized. Christian Návar, principal and co-founder of Modative, speaks about the processes in place at Modative to encourage employees to work efficiently. 

Architect_Magazine_Modative_Navar

Exerpt of Architect Magazine article titled "Time Management", for which Modative was interviewed.

Tags: los angeles architects, Modern Design, real estate, Architectual Practice, AIA, construction, Development

2014 Modative Year in Review

Posted by Krystal Navar on Wed, Jan 7, 2015 @ 06:01 AM

2014 was an eventful year for Modative. Two projects were completed, construction began on six projects (two of which are Modative Build projects), and five projects are currently in the entitlement process. 2014 also saw the birth of Modative founders’ third company: Modative Development. 2015 is going to be a big year!

01: Bento Box almost Complete

Construction continues for Modative Build at our West-Hollywood-adjacent, 5-home small lot subdivision project. This week, we are applying the 3-coat stucco and continuting with interior finishes. Construction is slated to be complete the first quarter of 2015. 

Los Angeles Modern Homes

Rendered view from corner of Romaine and Crescent Heights

Bento Box Small Lot Subdivision

Cement board siding visible through the scaffolding

Hollywood Hills Modern Architecture

View of the Hollywood Hills from the roof of Home 1

West Hollywood Modern Architecture

Marble running bond tile installation in master bathroom

02: Roberts Ave under Construction

As you may have read in a past blog post, construction began on this 3,600 square foot single-family home in Culver City in 2012 then stopped after the slab was poured. But, in 2014, it went vertical. It is now fully framed and is scheduled to be finished the second quarter of 2015.

Culver CIty Modern Home

Rendered view

Modern House Architect

Home during framing stage of construction

Culver City Modern Architects

Wall of glazing at second floor living level

03: Fay Ave Phase III Complete

This project has been in our office in one form or another for nearly 7 years. It was originally conceived as a 7-home small lot subdivision project. Due to delays caused by a down economy, it was built in 3 separate stages. The third and final phase was completed in October of 2014. All phases were constructed by Modative Build.

Fay Ave Small Lot Subdivision

Rendered view of the front unit of Phase III

Art District Dwellings Modern

Photo of completed front unit (check out how closely it resembles the rendering)

Modern Kitchen Architect

Kitchen and living room

Los Angeles Modern Yard Architect

Covered outdoor living room and backyard of front unit

04: Cardiff Cubes Construction

This 3-home small lot subdivision in Palms, a stone's throw from downtown Culver City, began construction around the same time as our Bento Box project. We're in a friendly race to see which project will finish first. 

Los Angeles Small Lot Culver City

Rendering of street view

Palms Small Lot Construction

Framing stage (like the Bento Box project, it is four stories tall)

05: Formosa Fusion under Construction

This 10-home small lot subdivision project is located just northwest of La Brea and Melrose and began construction in December of 2014.

Small Lot Community Architect

Rendering

Small Lot Foundation Construction

Footings and formwork

06: Hangar Homes Construction 

Modative Build began construcion on this 4-home small lot subdivision project in December of 2014. These homes are located just north of Santa Monica Airport on Ocean Park Blvd. and took inspiration from the aircraft hangars once located nearby.

Los Angeles Small Lot Santa Monica

Rendered View

Ocean Park Modative Build

Photo at twilight after demo and grading

07: Pettis Ave Complete

This 2,400 square foot single-family residence, located in Mountain View, CA, was completed in March of 2014. This home sold for $2.35 million.

Single Family Modern Architecture

Rendering of street view

Mountain View Modern Architecture

Photo of completed street view*

Modern Residential Architecture Pettis

Photo of rear view and backyard*

Bay Area Modern Home

Photo from master bedroom*

*Listing photos courtesy of Rob Mibach of Intero Real Estate Services

08: Strata Homes Construction

This 10-home small lot subdivision project is located in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles on Yosemite Dr. and takes its inspiration from the nearby Eagle Rock rock formation.

Los Angeles Small Lot Architecture

Rendered view from street

Eagle Rock Small Lot Subdivision

Footing formwork for Homes 5-10

09: Foothill Blvd Live + Work Zone Change Approved

Foothill Blvd. Live + Work is a 6-home subdivision in Cupertino. Our application for a zone change was approved in Septemeber 2014, changing the existing Commercial zoning to Commercial and Residential. This allows the current abandoned gas station to be redeveloped into six homes with office spaces facing Foothill Blvd. We submitted for permit at the end of 2014 and construction is expected to begin in 2015. 

Cupertino Modern Home Architect

Rendered view from Foothill Blvd.

10: New Projects in 2014

a. Alvarado is a 46-home project in Palm Springs, CA currently in Planning-approval stages.

Palm Springs Modern Architecture 

Rendered view from North Palm Canyon Drive

b. Hyperion is a 8-home small lot subdivision project in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is also currenly in Planning-approval stages.

Los Angeles Modern Home Architect

Rendered view of street elevation

c. Ave 57 Art Walk Homes is Modative Develop's first project! It is a 5-home small lot subdivision project in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles and is in the early stages of design.

Highland Park Small Lot Developer 

Early Site Plan

d. Edinburgh is a 8-home small lot subdivision project is just northwest of Fairfax and Melrose. It is in early design stages.

Los Angeles MidCity Small Lot

Early Site Plan

e. Flores is an 11-home small lot subdivision project is located southeast of La Cienega and Beverly. It is also in the early stages of design.

Beverly Center House Architecture

An early collage expressing the design intent for the internal driveway / courtyard

11 Staff Updates

a. Both Katherine Costa and Krystal Návar earned their Real Estate Sales Person License in 2014. Do I sense a fourth Modative company in the near future?

Modative Real Estate Sales Person

b. Modative began a Health + Wellness program in 2014, which encourages employees to live healthier lives by incentivising physical and mental respites throughout the week. 

Modative Health Wellness Baldwin Hills

Photo from group outing to climb the Baldwin Hills stairs

c. Modative also began an Education program to encourage well-rounded professional development in employees. A stipend is granted to each employee to be used that year toward a personally valuable and professionally enriching activity.

Spanish Eduction Architect LA

One employee used her fund to purchase Rosetta Stone Spanish for the office

d. Summer, our Office Manager, and Jesus, a Project Manager, became engaged at the end of 2014. How exciting is that?!

Jesus Summer Architecture Modative Love

I mean, seriously. How cute! 

e. Modative Development, Inc., the third company from Derek + Christian, was born in 2014. 

Los Angeles Small Lot Developer

Modative Development logo

f. Modative and Modative Build hired six people in 2014. Brad Benefield and Steve Knight were brought on with Modative Build. Alan Dana was hired to project manage for Modative. Kenny Lee and Deborah O'Connell came on board as interns for Modative. And Stephanie Garcia was hired to assist Summer with office management duties.

Modative Build Happy Employees

From left to right: Brad Benefield and Steve Knight of Modative Build

Modative Happy Employees

From left to right: Kenny Lee, Alan Dana, and Stephanie Garcia of Modative (Deborah O'Connell not pictured)

Tags: Residential, Development, Los Angeles, Small Lot Subdivision, Modern Design, construction

Modative Architecture's 2012 Year in Review

Posted by Derek Leavitt on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 @ 06:12 AM

Fortunately, 2012 has been a very busy year for us, which is why there's been little time for blog updates. So we thought we'd let you know about four important things that happened at Modative in 2012:

1. Cullen Art District Homes Sold

Cullen Art District Small Lot Subdivision

Our three home, small lot subdivision project on Cullen Street sold very quickly at the following prices.

Home A (Front): $650,000

Home B (Middle): $650,000

Home C (Rear): $675,000

Small Lot Subdivision Los Angeles Plans

The Cullen Street project was initiated by our client during a very uncertain economic time so it's great to see this project's ultimate success.

2. Modern Homes Under Construction

We currently have four residential projects under construction:

726 California Ave

A three-home small lot subdivision in Venice, CA. This project is currently wrapping up stucco, siding and interior finishes and should be complete by March 2013.

Venice Small Lot Architects Modern

Rendering

modern home venice architects 726 CA

Home A along California Ave. Stucco and siding going in on 12.21.12.

Venice small lot architects modative 2012

Home C from the alley.

 

Artis @ Echo Park

Construction of Phase I (8 homes) is underway on this 15-home small lot subdivision in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Artis is currently in framing and the first set of homes should be complete in the spring of 2013. Artis @ Echo Park was posted on Curbed Los Angeles earlier this week.

Artis @ Echo Park Modern Architects

Rendering

Echo Park Modern Architects 2012

First floor framing on 12.21.12.

Artis Echo Park small lot subdivision 2012

Phase I includes building the first eight homes.


Roberts Ave Residence

A single family residence in Culver City, CA that overlooks a public park.

modern culver city architects

Rendering

culver city residential architects contractors

slab pour


Fay 3X Homes

Three townhouse apartments. This is Phase II of III of the Fay Ave Art District Dwellings (a future small lot subdivision). Phase I, the Fay 2X Homes was complete in late 2011, featured in the Los Angeles Times in February 2012, and are still occupied by the original renters. Here's a bit more info on the design of the Fay 3X Homes. This phase is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2013. Also of note, Modative Build is the contractor on this project. And we will be building even more of our projects as we push into 2013.

fay 3x modern home architects

Rendering of 3X homes (left) next to the existing 2X homes (right).

Fay 3X modern los angeles apartment framing 2012

Framing started at Fay 3X Homes on 12.19.12

modern apartmnet architects fay 3x framing 1

And this is what it looked like a day later on 12.20.12

 

3. New Projects in 2012

2012 brought a lot of great new projects into the office. Here are some highlights:

Cardiff Cubes

We signed up this project in the first week of 2012; a great sign for the year. Cardiff Cubes is a three-home small lot subdivison near downtown Culver City. This project is approved by planning and is currently in the permitting phase. Construction start expected in spring of 2013.

 

cardiff cubes small lot subdivision los angeles

 

Fay 3X Homes

As mentioned above, this project is under construction.

fay 3x homes culver city arts district

 

Venice Boulevard Live/Work - Eight live/work apartments in Los Angeles. The likely future Modative and Modative Build world headquarters.

venice blvd modern live work los angeles architects

 

Ocean Park Hangar Homes

A four-home small lot subdivison in Los Angeles inspired by the nearby aviation and hangars of the Santa Monica Airport.

santa monica modern home architect ocean park

 

Milwood Avenue Residence

A single family spec home in Venice, CA. Scheduled to start construction in a few months.

Venice Modern Residence Architects

 

Vernon Avenue Residence

A single family spec home in Venice, CA. Scheduled to start construction in spring or summer of 2013.

Vernon Ave Residential Modern Architecture Firm Venice

 

 

Pettis Avenue Residence

A single family residence in Mountain View, Ca (that's up North). Scheduled to start construction in 2013.

Mountain View CA Modern Architects

 

4. New People in 2012

The new projects enabled us to add three new staff to our existing team of four, bringing our total to seven. We were very happy to welcome Dena, Jesus & Jesse to our team this year.

Modative Architecture Staff Add 2012

We didn't even ask them to smile. They did it on their own because they love working here.

 

Happy Holidays. See you in 2013!

Tags: Residential, Los Angeles, Small Lot Subdivision, website update, Architectual Practice, los angeles architects, construction, Cullen Street Homes Construction

Fay 2x Homes - Future Small Lot Subdivision Construction Complete!

Posted by Krystal Navar on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 @ 06:02 AM

In November 2010, we posted about our cost-effective solution to reviving a project that had completely stalled due to the housing bust (see: Modative Architecture Provides Stimulus Package.) Well, since this last post, our sister company, Modative Build, has completed construction of Phase One of this new Fay Ave. project! 

To recap, the “2x” concept came out of finding a simple, creative, cost-effective solution to this goal: to re-imagine a pre-housing-bust development for a much different market. Fay 2x Homes is the reincarnation of the Fay Ave Art District Dwellings, a seven-home Small Lot Subdivision project, which was designed before the real estate market crashed. Our challenge, as architects, was to reinvent this project for a changed economy. 

The seven-home project would ultimately utilize three adjacent lots; however, the center lot was sitting vacant, and, as such, was not providing any income for the owner while the development stalled. Our client asked us to propose a simple, cost-effective design that would add immediate value to this vacant lot and start generating rental income. We decided to drastically simplify the design of the homes and to phase construction in a way that made the most financial sense for our client. The two homes pictured make up Phase One of a four-phase project. 

While the modern design of the project was inspired and influenced by its’ location near the Culver City Arts District, the straightforward design is a direct result of providing a cost-conscious solution for our client.  We decided to limit certain building components to only two variations as a way to minimize the overall project cost. This self-imposed limitation is evident throughout the design of the homes: phase one consists of two homes, each utilizing just two exterior materials, two interior materials, two colors, two window sizes, and two door sizes. Further emphasizing the “2x” concept, each home contains two bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms on two floors, for a combined total of 2,000 square feet. These smaller, more affordable homes are being rented as apartments until all four phases are complete and the properties are ultimately subdivided into seven lots/homes per the Los Angeles Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance.

As a burgeoning design/build firm, we were also able to act as the General Contractor on this project. This helped to keep the cost of construction down for our client by drastically minimizing the cost of change orders that are typically a part of a traditional architect/contractor construction project relationship.

Phase One of this project was completed December 2011 and is now fully occupied.

Here are some photos of the first completed phase of the Fay 2x Homes. Enjoy!

small lot subdivision architects modern los angeles fay

The simplicity of the Fay 2x Homes allowed the property owner to start earning rental income ASAP.

small lot subdivision los angeles cement board siding fay

The wood 2x vertical fins, while hiding the connection details of the cement board siding, also create a graphic pattern on each building face. The patterns are dynamic and change with the time of day, especially on the south walls.

small lot subdivision LA fay ave 2X

A view of the back of the property. Check out all that vehicle back-up space required by the city! It's a crazy amount of space dedicated to the car, but I could throw a mean bbq shindig back there, so it's not totally wasted space.

small lot subdivision modern architect cement board siding

The home entrances are punctuated by bright green doors. 

small lot subdivision modern interior architecture

The concrete floor, plywood ceiling, and IKEA kitchen were all cost-conscious moves to keep the homes relevant in today's market.

small lot subdivision architect modern home

The front home's living area opens out onto a ground-level patio that engages Fay Ave.

los angeles architects small lot subdivision interior

The back home's living area is on the upper level, taking advantage of views toward the Baldwin Hills and the Helm's Bakery sign.

small lot subdivision modern bathroom architect

The bathroom finishes land just below custom-home level, but well above apartment-grade on the finish quality meter.


Post by Krystal Návar. Contributors to this post include Christian Návar, Derek Leavitt and Michael Scott .

Tags: Los Angeles, Small Lot Subdivision, Fay Ave Art District dwellings, contractor, small homes, Small House, los angeles architects, culver city, construction

Modative Build, Inc: Summer 2011 Internship

Posted by Derek Leavitt on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 @ 15:06 PM

A Better Way to Build

Modative was founded in 2006 with the goal of making modern design more affordable. Since then, we have been an architecture-only firm -- until last year when we formed a separate construction company called Modative Build, Inc. to provide our clients with an alternative to the traditional and often unsuccessful owner-contractor-architect relationship triangle. By having our own construction company we can now offer our clients a streamlined approach to getting their projects built at a reduced cost with far less headaches. Learn more about our approach.

build internship web

What You'll Be Working On

Although you may be occasionally asked to do a coffee run, this is not one of those kinds of internships. This is a hands-on, learn-though-real-experiences type of internship. You will not be directly constructing anything, but rather working on what really makes all construction companies tick: coordination and problem solving.

Bidding

Your primary responsibility will be to coordinate the bidding of several projects that Modative (the architecture company) has designed. You will work hands-on with the project designer and learn about all the trades that are required to put a real project together. You'll bid those trades out to subcontractors, then compile the selected subs into a beautiful, comprehensive bid. The projects you'll be bidding are primarily residential, type V construction. They are all modern.

Construction Management

You will also help us with the Fay 2X Homes, which are currently under construction a few blocks from our office. You'll get to see the construction process of these two homes happen first-hand, while also helping the project manager with behind-the-scenes coordination.

Collaboration

The construction company (Modative Build, Inc) and architecture firm (Modative, Inc.) operate in the same small office space without any cubicles. We're low on hierarchy and high on collaboration, so you might get pulled onto any number of projects.

What We're Looking For

We're looking for someone with an architecture or construction education/background, who like us, sees the importance of overlapping these two professions to achieve a greater goal. Someone that wants to turn the antiquated construction industry on it's head and that can use their design and organizational skills to bridge the architecture/construction gap.

If we like you and the opportunity arises, this internship could lead to a full-time position at Modative Build or Modative.

Bonus Points

You'll be using ArchiCAD, Numbers (Apple's version of Excel) and QuickBooks. Knowledge of these will help your learning curve. Spanish speaking will earn you extra points. We're also fans of creative resumes.

How to Apply

Send us a resume, portfolio and whatever else makes you look good to info@modativebuild.com .

To avoid spam, please include (MB Internship) in the subject line. Also, please provide short, concise answers the following questions in your email:

1. Please describe your current level of experience/education in the architecture and/or construction industry. If you're still in school and this is your first job, that's fine too.

2. Do you have experience with any CAD or BIM software?

3. Do you have experience with Excel and/or Numbers?

 

Schedule

We will be accepting applications until 6 pm PST on 06.09.11. From the applications we receive, we will narrow it down to 5-10 candidates for 15-minute speed interviews on 06.13.11. Follow-up interviews will be conducted later in the week if necessary. The internship will begin on Monday, 06.20.11 and last until late August or late September 2011.

Internship Location

Modative Build, Inc
8734 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Map

About Our Location: We're two blocks east of Helms Bakery, adjacent to the Culver City Arts District and within walking distance of several coffee shops and restaurants. It's a great central location in the LA basin.

Tags: Los Angeles, Architecture Experience, construction, employment

4 Goals for Our Architecture Firm in 2010

Posted by Derek Leavitt on Tue, Jan 12, 2010 @ 09:01 AM

Instead of publishing my personal resolutions for 2010, I thought I'd fill you in on what Modative has in store for 2010.

1. Integrated Project Delivery

Here at Modative, we're never mistaken for traditionalists. I'm not just talking about our architectural style, but the way we do everything. This is why we are committed to further moving away from the traditional design-bid-build process into integrated project delivery. We feel that this new way of delivering projects to our clients not only distinguishes us from the competition, but makes the process easier on our clients, contractors and even us.

 

problem design bid build

 

And since we're not looking to procrastinate on our 2010 resolutions, we've already added a section on Integrated Project Delivery to our website so you can see what it's all about.

2. Beyond Architecture

In more and more of our projects, clients have been asking us to go beyond our core architecture services to provide them with many of the other things that go into getting a project built.

Why? Because coordinating with one person (Modative) is much easier than coordinating with ten different consultants. We also prefer this one-stop-shop service because it further enables us to deliver the finished project as envisioned.

A glimpse of what we can provide can be found on our  services beyond architecture page.

architecture services

3. Modative Build

When we founded Modative, one of our primary company goals was so important to us that we put it on our business cards. Instead of "Architecture", we used the tag line "Design, Develop, Build." And while we have assisted with development decisions on the Venice Boulevard Urban Dwellings and Fay Avenue Art District Dwellings, we haven't yet acted as the contractor on one of our projects. That will soon change as I'm proud to announce that Modative Build will be launching this year.


 

 

 

 

 

 

design develop build


4. Small Lot Subdivision

When I tell people I'm an architect, they often ask, "So, do you do houses or (commercial) buildings". "Both" I answer.

Our firm has always kept our project types diverse: a fairly even split between residential and commercial. And within the residential category, there has been a healthy mix of single-family and multi-family projects. However, if there's one project type that we've done more than any other, it's clearly Small Lot Subdivision, which is really a hybrid between homes and condos. We've continued to pursue and take on these Small Lot Projects because we believe in them as the future of residential development in Los Angeles (and a lot of other places).

Small Lot Subdivision Blog Los Angeles

To show our further commitment to this unique project type,  we've expanded our Small Lot Subdivision online presence with a new Small Lot Subdivision Blog and a free guide on the basics of developing Small Lot Subdivision Projects in Los Angeles.

 

small lot development guide

 

Sample diagram from the Small Lot Subdivision Guide

Tags: Announcements, Innovation, Business, Architectual Practice, contractor, Project Strategy, construction