Inside SCI-Arc


Projects by faculty member Alexis Rochas, alumna Barbara Bestor showcased in Dwell

The March 2010 issue of Dwell magazine features SYNTHe – the first city-approved green roof in Los Angeles. The 3000 sq. ft. structure was build by faculty member Alexis Rochas and his students in the Community Outreach and Design Building program at SCI-Arc. Completed in 2009, the galvanized sheet metal structure lies atop the Flat, a six-story downtown apartment complex.

SYNTHe - Los Angeles' first green roof top

Rochas and students worked with the city of Los Angeles and project developer Bret Mosher to create the multifunctional modular structure that "acts like a shell, hiding beneath it the utilitarian infrastructure that is often found on the top of urban buildings."

"Ridges of the laser-cut structure form seating and leisure areas for the building's residents, creating a uniquely active space high above the pavement," writes Dwell reporter Nate Berg.

Bestor designed the second story to float over the ground "like a cloud."

SCI-Arc alumna Barbara Bestor picked up kudos from Dwell for the Venice Beach Surf Shack she designed for creative director Eric Grunbaum. Writes Dwell, "Bestor has a formidable reputation in Southern California for her bohemian modernism, and for Grunbaum, she created a 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath home that harbors a traditional sensibility with a contemporary heart."

For more about the projects, visit