A Clear Path


Architect Nerin Kadribegovic shares the same frustration many Californians feel about the state’s housing and homelessness crisis. In response, he’s honed a clear vision and a professional approach. “I am incredibly pragmatic,” the founder of Kadre Architects states. “We’re focused on results and we empathize with the clients.”

Thus far, Kadre Architects has completed two transitional supportive housing communities targeted to families under the banner of Governor Newsom’s Project Homekey emergency initiative. Developed in partnership with nonprofit organization Hope the Mission and Los Angeles County, motel properties are transformed to address crisis-level demands. “Your work as a designer is to extrapolate the best out of the place and stretch it for maximum impact,” explains Kadribegovic, who personally experienced wartime displacement during conflicts in Bosnia and Yugoslavia in the 1990s. He gained expertise in this brand of mission-driven design while working in veteran L.A. architect Michael Lehrer’s studio.

Residents are greeted by graphic green and pink shapes that feel welcoming and modern. Photos courtesy of Kadre Architects.

With tight budgets and timelines—The Woodlands in Woodland Hills, with its 100 rooms, was finished from design phase to opening in an astonishing eight months—the Kadre Architects team has figured out
ways to cut through notoriously labyrinthian bureaucracies. These are, after all, undertakings that demand an incredible degree of all-around resourcefulness. The Woodlands and The Alvarado, which was the first Project Homekey complex located near MacArthur Park with 43 rooms that opened this past spring, use bold color-blocking graphics and other creatively practical and aesthetic solutions. A third Project Homekey development is nearing completion in Lancaster, as is a regional kitchen based in North Hills that will provide three daily meals to residents. (The adapted motel rooms do not have full kitchens.) The Woodlands’ next phase involves adapting a former Denny’s structure into a community center and preschool. “You have to make these projects vibrant,” Kadribegovic says. “The kids’ reaction is always the best. It makes me so happy because we’ve done our work.”

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