West of West finds opportunity for social interaction in places with little supply

“When I am in California, I am not in the West. I am west of the West,” declared Theodore Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century. The potential for self-reliance implied by Roosevelt was felt at that time by countless western settlers, who together transformed California—particularly its southern half—into a sea of low-rise development and automobile infrastructure within a matter of decades. Yet an alternate reading of Roosevelt’s proclamation, which envisions limitless potential for new modes of living and working, became both the inspiration and namesake for West of West. A young Los Angeles & Portland–based architecture firm that responds to the western landscape of the 21st century, the studio offers fresh approaches to community building through novel design practice.

- Shane Reiner-Roth