Vanessa Quiles

This image depicts the visual connection between the living area and the kitchen, located on the second floor, of a homeless youth shelter in Venice, CA.
This image depicts the exterior of the homeless youth shelter where people are hanging out outside as a man paints a mural on the end wall of the quonset hut.
This image is a section cut of an apartment complex. Specifically, it is showcasing the many ways the central courtyard of the apartment complex is used by residents of all ages.
This image depicts what the living space looks like when it is being used as a bedroom. The bed has been pulled down from the wall and in the distance we can see a man cooking with his child in the central kitchen.
This image depicts the people in the kitchen and the clear view of the building across the street. On the left, two women are talking, as the bed has been pulled up and transformed into a couch.
This image depicts the large steps that make up the main entrance of a K-6 elementary school. Parents are shown with their child; a young girl plays her guitar as she sits at the foot of the steps.
This image depicts students walking on a bridge in the school that overlooks the iconic mural found on site.
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Vanessa Quiles

Hello, my name is Vanessa Quiles. I am an aspiring architectural designer graduating from Otis College of Art and Design in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture/ Landscape/ Interiors.

I come from a Latinx household located in the Boyle Heights/ East Los Angeles area. Growing up in a dense and low-income community, predominantly made up of people of color, has influenced much of the work that I have produced. I believe I have unique experience because I have witnessed the effects of gentrification, a rising issue in many cities, but I have also experienced the rich culture that makes up Los Angeles. Because of my upbringing, I have a special interest in exploring possibilities for affordable housing in urban environments. I aim to design and create architecture that explores solutions for how we live, work, and interact in a rapidly growing urban environment.

Safe Haven is a homeless youth shelter in Venice, CA. The visual void between the living room and the kitchen produces a sense of connectedness between the homeless youth that visit the shelter without forcing them to interact with one another. This allows them to feel safe in the space and become comfortable with one another at their own pace.

Safe Haven shelter is designed in such a way that homeless youth can make their decisions in various instances. For example, they are naturally drawn in by the view of the second floor, which encourages them to go into the Quonset hut and take part in enjoying the amenities or to stay outside until they are ready to enter. Giving them the options to make their own judgments and approach others as they feel necessary or when they feel comfortable allows for them not to feel pressured but to feel supported with whatever decision they make instead.


This multi-generational housing complex creates a smaller community within the existing structure by taking the lifestyle of people in neighborhoods surrounding Downtown Los Angeles, specifically their methods of expanding and shrinking a household, into the existing structure. It rethinks subsidized housing by allowing families the opportunity to split their initial apartment units with extended family or with growing children to share the expense. A large courtyard on the second floor promotes interactions between neighbors and provides residents a space for outdoor events and activities.

Each unit in Versatility includes a kitchen in the center that is shared among the residents of the unit and four multi-functional spaces located at every corner of the unit. The multi-functional spaces can close off and become their own unit. This image demonstrates how a quadrant of the unit has been transformed into a bedroom by pulling down a bed that was stored in the wall.

The units in Versatility include kitchens that function as the unit's core, it is shared among the residents of the communal living space. A visual void is cut through the center of the kitchen, allowing for cross-ventilation and a view of the exterior

Anthony Quinn Elementary School is a K-6 elementary school located in Downtown Los Angeles, project emphasizes visual arts education through the preservation of the mural located on the site and the ways people interact with the mural from both the interior and the exterior. From the moment one enters the school, they are overcome with a feeling of sublime as they make their way up the steps of the main entrance, and the 70-foot mural showcasing Anthony Quinn unfolds itself.

Anthony Quinn Elementary School's design allows for many opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to interact with the mural. Classrooms face north and bridges that surround a light well create easy visual access to the mural as students move throughout the building during the school day.