The Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Gruen Associates, and Studio-MLA are working toward a November 11 groundbreaking for the new Audrey Irmas Pavilion, an addition to the historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. Ahead of this weekend’s groundbreaking ceremony, OMA has unveiled a batch of new renderings of the 55,000-square-foot cultural center.

A diagram showing the pavilion’s two gathering spaces (Courtesy OMA)

The two-story, trapezoidal pavilion will contain two large event spaces within its sloped walls, including a rooftop terrace designed by Studio-MLA. The main gathering space along the ground floor will be elliptical in nature and will provide arched openings along two of the principal facades. The second space will run perpendicular to the ground floor space and will be outlined as a trapezoid along the opposing set of exterior walls. The terrace will stream daylight through the pavilion via a circular opening.

The addition will allow the temple to offer supportive services for its congregants, including hot meal programs and medical clinics, Urbanize.LA reported.

View into the second-floor chapel terrace (Courtesy OMA)

Renderings for the project depict a singular volume skinned with hexagonal stone cladding, with each of the stone tiles containing a rectangular glass block at its center.

Gruen Associates is working as the executive architect for the project, which was designed by OMA partners Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas.

In a press release announcing the groundbreaking, Shigematsu said, “Focusing on communicating the energy of gathering and exchange, the pavilion is an active gesture, shaped by respectful moves away from the surrounding historic buildings, reaching out onto Wilshire Boulevard to create a new presence.” Shigematsu added, “We are thrilled to break ground on this significant project that will provide a new anchor for the Wilshire Boulevard Temple and the broader Los Angeles community.”

The pavilion will contain a grand ballroom on the ground floor. (Courtesy OMA)

The project represents OMA’s first cultural commission in the region and will join the firm’s forthcoming First and Broadway Park—also designed in collaboration with Studio-MLA—in Downtown Los Angeles and The Plaza, a mixed-use shopping complex slated for Santa Monica, as other works under development nearby.

Plans call for the Audrey Irmas Pavilion to be completed by 2020.

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