KFA’s Selected Projects

History of KFA

KFA was founded in 1975 by Wade Killefer, FAIA, who was joined by Barbara Flammang, FAIA, in 1980. Initially a design-build construction company, the firm created its first library in 1983, first school in 1985, first affordable housing project in 1988, and first mixed-use residential project in 1990. By leading the city’s Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, KFA contributed to the revitalization of downtown Los Angeles’ historic core in 1999. Since then, the company has finished converting more than 50 existing structures in the City into residences, hotels, and commercial space.

KFA uses a collaborative approach customized for each project to provide architecture, design, and master planning services for projects across the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. The firm specializes in affordable, senior, family, and special needs housing; hotels and restaurants; educational facilities; transit-oriented developments; campuses; mixed-use housing, retail, and office projects; and adaptive reuse projects

Since 2016, Jonathan Watts, AIA, Lise Bornstein, AIA, and John Arnold, AIA have led the firm as a partnership. Leveraging its initial experience, the firm has committed to transforming Los Angeles through the creation of «great places where people flourish,» with a particular emphasis on multi-family housing, hotels, mixed-use buildings, and campuses. KFA has been recognized and awarded multiple times for its innovative and urban designs.

WADE KILLEFER, FAIA – Founder & Partner Emeritus

Wade founded what is now KFA Architecture in 1975. He was born in San Francisco, raised in Washington, D.C., and earned a B.A. in English from Stanford University. He worked as a union carpenter for a year before enrolling in UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning, where he met his now wife Barbara Flammang FAIA, who became his business partner. The American Institute of Architects elected him to the College of Fellows in 2006, and the California AIA named his firm Firm of the Year in 2016. He served as the AIALA‘s president in the past.

BARBARA FLAMMANG, FAIA – Founder & Partner Emeritus

Barbara, a founding partner of KFA, has overseen the design and construction of housing and community projects for nearly 40 years, including the adaptive reuse of historic buildings in downtown Los Angeles and the recently completed Los Angeles LGBT Center Anita May Rosenstein Campus in Hollywood. She got her Bachelor in Arts & History from UCLA, and finished her Graduate Studies at UCLA School of Architecture & Urban Planning.

Mrs. Flammang was recently granted a Fellowship by the AIA in recognition of her leadership of her firm’s groundbreaking work in the historic core of downtown Los Angeles and her inclusive management style that has relentlessly advanced diversity and gender equity.

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Company Culture at KFA

With 46 years of consistent, forward-thinking leadership, KFA has created an inclusive, employee-driven culture. KFA is honored to have been named the 2016 Firm of the Year by the AIA California Council and to have been named one of LA’s best places to work by the Los Angeles Business Journal for its portfolio and diverse, culture-rich workplace. At KFA, women occupy a majority of the management roles. The company reaffirmed its commitment to equity in 2020 by participating in the SoCal NOMA DEI Challenge.

We value open communication and collaboration. Everyone has a voice at the table. We value individuality and mutual respect.

They support one another to take risks and be bold, especially when it comes to accepting responsibilities that are outside of their comfort zones. Mutual respect exists, as does a desire for everyone to succeed in whatever task they are assigned. They take ownership of imparting their newfound knowledge to others, learn as they go, and are not hesitant to ask for assistance when needed.

KFA believes that their passion outside the office broadens their perspective on the world and influences their architectural design. KFA’s office is a diverse group of artists, chefs, athletes, travelers, and musicians who share their passions and accomplishments with the team on a weekly basis.

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Architect-US is proud to work in close contact with KFA and to be able to ensure the firm gets to know and work with amazing young architects like Livia Cavallo and Ane Rodriguez Jaca whom we helped process and sponsor their J1 Visa as well as find a job in the US through our Job+J1 Visa Program!

Livia Cavallo

Ms. Cavallo is as Italian architect who studied for her professional degree in architecture at Università di Roma ‘Sapienza’ – Rome, Italy. While at University she took part in an intensive course in BIM design with Revit. Livia also went on an exchange program with ERASMUS at Technische Universität München – Munich, Germany, where she focused on Urban Design Studio (English), Building Archeology (English), and Applied Presentation Technology (German). She has a vast work experience at multiple studios and was enrolled in the Professional Register as an architect in 2017 in «Ordine degli Architetti Pianificatori Paesaggisti e Conservatori di Roma – sez A».

Ane Rodriguez Jaca

Ms. Rodriguez is a Spanish architect who graduated in architecture from Basque Country University Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura in Spain. Ane also took a preparation course for university at Navarra University. She has experience working as an architect at Baransu Biopassive Architecture and Izaskun Larzabal Architectural and Urban Planning Studio, and as a cooperating architect at Guaman Poma de Ayala ONGD by Volunteer Program “Basque Youth Development Worker 2016”.

KFA’s Selected Projects

Blue Hibiscus – West Hollywood, CA

This project, located near Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, was designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style to blend in with the surrounding neighborhood. Residents can congregate in safe areas thanks to centrally located community spaces and a landscaped roof deck. Blue Hibiscus provides housing for mentally ill individuals, young people leaving foster care, and low-income HIV/AIDS positive individuals.

Photos by KFA

Upper Ivy at Ivy Station – Culver City, CA

The 200 residences at Upper Ivy are a combination of studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments. Mezzanines and private balconies with views of the city or park are features of the penthouse residences. There is plenty of space for entertaining with fire pits, grills, and cozy seating in the private courtyards that are woven throughout the structure. A co-working space, fitness center, pool, on-site yoga studio, and residential lobby are among the amenities offered. The ground level features upscale retail and restaurants.

Photos by KFA

Eastern Columbia – Downtown LA, Los Angeles, CA

With its blue terracotta façade and neon-lit clock tower, the Eastern Columbia at 9th and Broadway is a landmark building in the Los Angeles skyline that offers light-filled, flexible lofts ranging in size from 880 SF to 3200 SF. There are several different types of units with concrete floors and ceilings up to 14 feet. These include two-story units with private decks, three-story units, and one incredibly unique four-story unit.

The main lobby entrance off Broadway is still there, supported by the original restored terrazzo sidewalk and entryway, and the north and west facades have new windows and balconies that blend in with the building’s historical design. Access to the newly designed court is available from the parking lot.
There is a fitness center, swimming pool, spa, sun deck, and outdoor fireplace on the rooftop leisure terrace.

Photos by KFA

We will be posting more projects by KFA in the upcoming weeks and months, so keep an eye out for more of their incredible work! Every Friday we will be posting a new Featured Company, so join us again next week!

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