Long Beach, CA




Lisa Little, Kristy Velasco,  Aly Cornelius

Breakers is a 138-unit mixed-use micro-apartment building in downtown Long Beach, CA. Converted from an iconic 1920’s hotel, the adaptive reuse project demonstrates contemporary concepts for living in micro apartment architecture. Vertebrae deployed meticulous space-planning to ensure the traditional-sized hotel rooms succeed as permanent housing. Murphy-bed and other convertible furniture, along with maximized storage, ensure that the micro apartments are highly functional despite their small square footage. A minimal palette with a strong graphic element increases the perceived spatial volume of the micro-units.

The micro-units range from 260 to 850 square feet and support the premise that smaller spatial housing footprints directly equate to decreased carbon emissions and reduced waste associated with the acquisition of consumables. The small unit sizes also necessitate a large amount of communal program to be conveniently located in the building. Complementing this programmatic philosophy are the essential shared programs including a yoga studio, restaurant, coffee shop, terrace, bike repair shop, screening room, workspace, gym, and art gallery.

As a micro apartment architect specialist, Vertebrae provided architectural services for this unbuilt project including space planning and schematic design for all public shared spaces and the 11 floors of living units. Vertebrae also produced a full entitlement package for review by the City of Long Beach Planning Department.