Posts tagged with "Glendale":
Mainland Poke, a fast-casual restaurant specializing in chopped fish bowl restaurants recently opened a second outfit at the Americana outdoor pedestrian mall in Glendale, designed by Culver City, California–based Abramson Teiger Architects. The original location is located in Los Angeles's Beverly Grove neighborhood.
The firm utilized poke bowls’ aquatic origin—a poke bowl is a dish of cubed fresh fish served over rice and topped with an assortment of flavorful toppings—and the traditional fish markets where one might go to acquire their ingredients, as inspiration: A polished concrete floor is topped by a medley of fine design objects such as minimalist chairs and tables and smooth marble countertops. The 1200-square-foot store consists of a single brightly lit dining room facing the street, its mostly-glass storefront supplemented by a glass block transom window.
A decorative pattern comprised of variously recessed wooden blocks lines a main interior wall, while tessellated white tiles reminiscent of fish scales wrap the separate food preparation area. Design principal Trevor Abramson explained, “The white tiles and wood talk to materials found in a traditional fish market and are a perfect palette for the vibrant colors found in the fresh fish poke.”
Mainland Poke 252 S. Brand Boulevard, Glendale, CA Tel: 213-712-2683 Architects: Abramson Teiger Architects
Five years after closing its Downtown L.A. location, the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) has reopened in a new space between the Americana at Brand and a public library branch in Downtown Glendale. The country’s only museum dedicated to neon, MONA will feature works by contemporary artists in rotating exhibitions as well as a permanent collection of the kinds of signifier-icons that distinguish Los Angeles’s vernacular architecture. Included, for instance, is the famous Brown Derby sign that was once a Hollywood beacon.
An 8,400 square foot renovation is joined by a new public space and, fittingly, neon-adorned signage that draws from the museum’s collection. Sited on one of Glendale’s broad and highly trafficked boulevards, South Brand, MONA’s new facade embeds the museum in its cultural-commercial context, which includes landmarks such as the Alex Theatre’s famous marquee and more quotidian neighbors like BevMo.
A partnership between the Glendale Redevelopment Agency, the Department of City Planning, and Shimoda Design Group (SDG) generated the programmatic focus on public space and public programs. Using the powerful draw of the Americana complex, the designers and museum board hope to pull visitors from the mixed-use mall to the west, and, using the covered passage that bisects MONA and the generous open space around it, knit the Americana, the Glendale Central Library and Park, and the Museum together into one symbiotic, activated Downtown whole.
Shimoda’s adaptation of two existing buildings—a Rite Aid and a video arcade—reflects a thoughtful opportunism. The project was treated as “a surgical incision.” Since the structure and shell are largely preserved, the exuberance of the museum’s collection is allowed to play off of the patina of the buildings’ history. “It was important to use an existing building because the signs really thrive in a space that looks older,” Joey Shimoda, Principal of SDG, explained. Exposed ductwork and a restrained palette—brick, honed concrete, and white and black paint—further draw the art into focus. The project’s major architectural moves create or interact with public space: a double height lobby and broad, glazed entry face the street. Along with the neon inside, this creates “a lantern for the community.” The public paseo, created through strategic demolition, bisects the site and draws visitors across a landscaped deck to the park and library behind.
The museum, originally founded in 1981 by Lili Lakich and Richard Jenkins, has been guided by a celebration of Southern California’s built heritage—including the signs that have adorned its drugstore, diner, and gas station facades—and a respect for the craft of “neon bending.” Workshops will be held in MONA’s street-fronting neon bending studio and visitors will be encouraged to experience Los Angeles’ neon in its proper context: nightly bus tours will highlight the newly renovated Clifton’s Cafeteria and other historic Downtown L.A. landmarks.