Skid Row Housing Trust’s Mike Alvidrez Answers
The 2017 AIA|LA Presidential Honoree Questionnaire

Mike Alvidrez has a vision for Los Angeles’ sprawling airport, LAX, that’s all about representing. Celebrating people. We are not surprised. Just look at what Alvidrez has spearheaded through twenty-five years at his ‘day job’.

As CEO of Skid Row Housing Trust, Alvidrez has engaged design as a platform to provide quality of life and new hope to Los Angeles’ most vulnerable populations. The buildings are National AIA award winners, yes; Star Apartment and The Six come to mind as recent ones. Put what drives their design intention?—celebrate and nurturing the human.

As Alvidrez is recognized for his work with the 2017 AIA|LA Presidential Honoree: Advocate, Developer award, we took this opportunity to learn more about the man behind the work, courtesy of the infamous and annual Presidential Honoree Q&A.

AIA|LA: Favorite place to eat in Los Angeles.
Mike Alvidrez: Zinc Café in the Arts District. As a lifelong cheeseburger eater, meat has been a staple in my life. There’s a way Zinc Café prepares their veggies that’s so satisfying. It’s a place that refuses to be defined by vegetarianism – everyone can enjoy their food, meat-eaters included!

[Celebrate with Mike Alvidrez. Pick up tickets to the 10.30.17 Design Awards Here.]

Dream Commission. What current site in Los Angeles would you reconceive? Why and how?
I would make over LAX airport restaurants. Los Angeles is a hub of so many various cultures, so we should be using the airport as a central place to celebrate that! I would love to see Ethiopian, Thai, Brazilian, Peruvian restaurants and the list goes on. Let’s make going to the airport a cultural experience.

We have a photo booth at this year’s Design Awards. If you could pick one Angeleno to have your snap taken with, who would it be, and why.
Well, first would be Sean Penn because for once I’d be the tall guy in the photo. And then Lucy Jones, a seismologist, so she can tell me the safest place to live.

Most influential piece of Los Angeles architecture to you. Include a why, if you’d like.
The Broad Museum

Okay, a commission or project that you’ve done. What should we know about it, that we don’t.
I’m proud of all our sites, but especially The Star Apartments because it is the first permanent supportive housing model that exemplifies housing as healthcare.

If you had three hours off—or a full vaca—where would you likely be?
If I had a full vacation I would do a world tour of pickle ball courts, and hopefully participate in a few tournaments.
Last updated: 21-Oct-2017 10:42 AM
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