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03.25.2014
Open> Crooks and Castles
Architect Adam Wheeler transformed a Los Angeles thrift store into an upscale boutique.
Mark Montiel

Crooks and Castles
455 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles
Tel: 310-652-3005

Crooks and Castles sounds like a video game, but it is actually a young men’s clothing emporium that has relocated from Hollywood to an expansive storefront on a gentrifying block of Fairfax in midtown Los Angeles. Architect Adam Wheeler stripped a former thrift store, sealing the patched concrete floor, exposing the ceiling ducts and joists, and retaining one patinated brick wall. Those relics provide a raw backdrop for elegant walnut display cabinets, a cantilevered sales desk, and two Schindler-esque, wood-framed sofas.

To the rear are offices and a future recording studio. The interior is framed by a portico, lined with Western red cedar, which serves as a gathering place by day and can be sealed off by pocketing glass sliders on the inner side and a roll-down shutter on the street. This opening allows the owners to drive an exotic car or motorbike into the store to lure their testosterone-fuelled customers.

Michael Webb