Established in 1854 as the Hebrew Benevolent Society, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles is the oldest charity organization in Los Angeles.  Serving all who have need regardless of ethnicity, religion or race, it has facilities distributed throughout the Los Angeles area. JFS has earned a national and international reputation as a model for excellence in services for children, families, individuals with disabilities, survivors of violence, and older adults.  We were approached to design their new flagship home.  JFS has had a desire and need for a singular home for their administrative teams.  In looking at their options, it was decided to redevelop one of their existing sites located on Fairfax Ave. Currently this site is occupied by a three building facility which includes a health and fitness center, with gym facilities and training, activity rooms for elderly education and community events and activities, and areas for counselling services.  There is an adjacent site which serves meals twice a day and a Kosher kitchen which provides meals which are distributed through the city.

Our design focuses on communicating the values, principles and goals of JFS.   JFS provides care and shelter to those in need.  JFS is a charity.  It consists of a talented and dedicated staff and is supported by an astonishing volunteer community.  The community which holds up this charity is made up of a diverse group of distinct individuals and their families.

The roof in architecture is the primary indicator of shelter.  Roofs provide shelter.  How the roof is held up, indicates how it is ‘supported’.  JFS has been designed with a large overhanging roof.  A roof, whose underside is made of wood, a principally residential, warm, material.  This roof overhangs the sidewalk below, thus providing shelter to everyone who passes by.  It does so without pause, question nor discrimination.  The roof is held up by a field of columns.  Since the Greeks, columns have stood in for humans.  In their case Gods, in our case, ‘angels’.  The ‘angels’ of the community whose efforts support JFS. The columns are differing in size, width, breadth and height recognizing the diversity of the community from which they come.



1733 s. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90035

(310) 280-0193