Leimert Park Community Fridge

In the earlier months of the pandemic, EYRC’s Design Justice Committee (DJC) worked with organizers from Los Angeles Community Fridges (LACF) to create a structure that could protect and expand storage for an existing neighborhood fridge located at the heart of Leimert Park, outside Hot and Cool Café on Degnan Boulevard.

Working closely with LACF organizers, the team devised a structure that would protect goods and appliances from the elements and provide an additional 85 sf of storage for dry goods and toiletries. 

The new modular design allows for flexible arrangements at the Leimert Park location as well as easy and low-cost replication elsewhere. A few months later, organizers in El Sereno would adopt a similar design for their own community fridge.

Assembly was designed to be simple and adaptable, using affordable, low-impact materials and basic power tools. To reduce waste, each shelf component was optimally sized to be cut from standard 4x8 sheets of plywood.

The new structure debuted in 2021 after an efficient four-week fabrication process. Within days of installation, local artists painted its plywood beams and shelves in vibrant colors, gradually covering the entire structure.

EYRC's design was always intended as a public resource for adaptation, modification and experimentation. A companion booklet with a full list of supplies, material cost breakdown and three modular sizing options is available to download as a free PDF.

The Design Justice Committee was formed in the summer of 2020 as a self-organized group within the firm. The Community Fridge was one of the DJC’s earliest and most ambitious projects, and marked its intent towards measurable, non-tokenistic gestures of solidarity. 

The Community Fridge project team ultimately came to include over a third of all EYRC Los Angeles-based staff. Three designers laid out the final modular design concept, with over ten additional staff joining in at the fabrication and installation stages.

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  • Leimert Park Community Fridge
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 2021
  • Complete
  • 2022 AIA National - Small Projects Award
  • 2022 AIA California Design Award, Special Commendation - Design for Equitable Communities
  • 2022 AIA Los Angeles Design Award, Honor - Architectural Installations
  • 2022 SCDF Design Award, Merit
  • 2021 Architect's Newspaper Best of Design Award, Editors' Pick
  • 2021 San Francisco Design Week Award