Posts tagged with "Los Angeles Arts District":
A common refrain resulting from the Los Angeles Arts District’s ongoing gentrification goes like this: “There are no more artists left in the Arts District.” To stem the loss, Steinberg has imbued the AMP Lofts development, a 320-unit live-work complex that will cater to this shrinking demographic, with artist-friendly amenities and contextual formalism.
The 390,850-square-foot project, developed by Greystar and designed in concert with Shimoda Design Group, features a “clubhouse”—a space designed specifically for residents to fabricate and showcase large-scale artworks. The double-height loading dock and production facility protrudes from the parking podium as a separate volume, joining storefronts, an entry lobby, a set of townhouses, and a series of paseos as the project’s public faces.
Simon Ha, principal at Steinberg, said that the firm intended to “design simple buildings that would blend in with the existing industrial Arts District neighborhood.” The project, after all, is named for the AMP Automotive complex that formerly occupied the site. Ha explained that the design team sought to make the street fronts “funkier than those of a typical podium-style building” by designing the complex as a series of “jewel boxes elevated above parking.” The result is a cluster of layered mid-rise structures: stacked flats wrapped in vertical and horizontal louvers, gabled townhouses clad in lapped metal shingles, and a clubhouse wrapped by a large factory-style clerestory window.
Los Angeles’s Arts District neighborhood is seeing a rapid influx of large-scale, developer-driven mixed-use projects, which are poised to upend the enclave’s status as an affordable, artists’ neighborhood.
Within the last six months, several large-scale proposals by international and local firms have shaken up the Arts District’s development trajectory by injecting an infusion of branded architecture. Irvine, California–based developer SunCal and Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron have partnered on the 6AM project, a $2 billion development located at the intersection of 6th and Alameda Streets. Initial plans call for roughly 2.8 million square feet of mixed-use development to the southern edge of the district, including 1,305 apartments and 431 condominiums.
The project’s retail areas will be contained within a multi-story ground-level podium that will act as a literal platform for the housing units above, articulated as long bars of apartments. The platform is designed as a collection of raw concrete structural components—square columns, rectangular beams, and a thin slab—raised high enough off the ground to create large expanses of covered outdoor space along the street and what amounts to a cavernous, open-air mall within. The interior of the retail complex will be carved into various blocks, with alternating exposures of the housing above looking down into the interior shopping streets. The complex is capped along Alameda Street by a collection of housing towers. Mia Lehrer + Associates will act as landscape architect for the project and AC Martin will serve as executive architect. 6AM is expected to be built in three phases starting around 2018.
On the district’s opposite end, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and real estate firm V.E. Equities have teamed up for 670 Mesquit, a project aligned directly with the edge of the L.A. River. 670 Mesquit is articulated as a large composition of gridded concrete frames infilled with various types of programming. The project will contain 800,000 square feet of office space, 250 residential units, and two specialty hotels, as well as a collection of open air, publicly oriented facilities designed to connect the neighborhood with the river. These amenities will span across a depressed rail yard that currently separates the district from the river along the longest edge of the site.
BIG’s buildings are organized as a series of generic structural bays stacked in a stepped configuration, with each bay of the superstructure measuring 45 feet on each side. These bays can be customized by the final tenants, an arrangement that allows the occupants to add mezzanines within each volume or fully subdivide existing spaces with new floors. In a reference to the repetitive armature the firm has designed, Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG, is quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying, “we want to create this framework where the bones of the building are what unite it.”
2110 Bay, a 1.8-acre development on the southern edge of the district by Los Angeles–based Studio One Eleven will bring 50,000 square feet of commercial space, a 100,000-square-foot office building, and a 110-unit, roughly 140-foot tall “live-work tower” to the area. The architects will repurpose an existing industrial shed in order to create an airy shopping and dining plaza. The new complex will be outfitted with steel and wood elements in a nod to the neighborhood’s industrial past and have direct visual connections to the surrounding housing and office programs. Alan Pullman, senior principal at Studio One Eleven, described the partial adaptive reuse approach: “[We wanted to] design a project that felt like it was very connected to the existing character of the Arts District.” Dubbed the “Retail Shed,” the repurposed structure is surrounded on three sides by new construction, with the mix of buildings articulated in a variety of finishes, including corrugated metal siding, raw concrete, and brick.
The complex is crisscrossed by covered outdoor walkways, like the other projects described above, in an effort to weave public open space between private functions. Pullman explained that the abundance of these types of spaces—perhaps due to impact the quality of life and overall feel of the Arts District more than the new works of architecture themselves—was rooted in the district’s zoning code. “We always try to create a more fine grained ground plane when we can,” he said. “If there is an urban design regulation that gives you an incentive to create a paseo on the ground plane—like the hybrid industrial zoning does—you push for it.”
The area is being remade in the image of contemporary creative capitalism as an urban-suburb, a place where educated and wealthy inhabitants move to cement their status as professional workers. The situation is common among American cities of today: An existing industrial neighborhood, aggressively colonized by monied interests and repopulated by creative class workers, shifts from a predominantly manufacturing-based or underground arts existence toward one based on leisure, consumption, and domesticity. The arrival of bombastic, brand-name architecture is integral to this transformation—think of SHoP Architects’ 3.3-million-square-foot plan for the Domino Sugar Factory on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn or Foster + Partners’ 2.4-million-square-foot Oceanwide Center project in San Francisco’s Transbay district—and the Arts District is no different.
- Building 1, located at the corner of 6th and Mill Street will contain a 152-room hotel and 22,429 square feet of arts programming. The 118-foot-tall structure will contain a hotel-focused “amenity deck” along the eighth floor. This building will also contain an undisclosed number of apartment units.
- Building 2, also 118 feet tall, will contain 245 condominiums atop the platform and approximately 41,852 square feet of retail along the lower levels. It is anticipated that this block will contain the site’s aforementioned grocery store in the lower shopping area, as well as restaurants and live/work units. This block will contain residential amenities at the fourth level and along the rooftop.
- Building 3 would rise to 110 feet in height and contain 532 apartments above the table top, with 62,966 square feet of retail functions underneath, including potentially, a food market hall, restaurants. The tabletop area is due to contain outdoor amenities, including a swimming pool. The under-table areas are also being designed to contain apartments and up to 21 live/work units.
- Building 4 will house 251 apartments, 17 live/work units and a 29,316-square-foot school. The planning document indicates the school program may exist in any number of configurations, including as a private or hybrid private/public school and will serve up to 300 K-12 students.
- Building 5 will rise to 126 feet in height and will contain 253,514-square feet of office uses.
- Building 6 would rise 58 stories to a maximum height of 732 feet and would include 186 condominiums, 260 hotel rooms and 7,020 square feet of retail that will share the below-table areas with residential and hotel lobby areas.
- Building 7 will rise to 710 feet in height and will include 522 apartment units and 7,228 square feet of commercial areas.
The La Kretz Innovation Campus (LKIC), designed by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects (JFAK), is a new business incubation center in Los Angeles developed by the Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), a nonprofit tasked to transform the city into a green-collar hub.
The 61,000-square-foot “sustainability factory” is located in a collection of single-story, masonry-and-bow-truss warehouses from 1923 in L.A.’s Arts District. The neighborhood, home to the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a growing number of creative industries, is well-suited to benefit from a “Cleantech Corridor” specifically zoned to support the green economy-related development now running through it.
The complex is meant to be a place where, as JFAK founder and principal Alice Kimm said, “Ideas for new goods and services can be birthed, researched, developed, prototyped, and pushed out to market from under one roof.”
The complex, measuring 290- by 200-feet, is carved into eight similarly sized warehouse bays mirrored about a central axis. The eastern four bays are dedicated to business incubation services: office spaces, meeting rooms, and lounge areas. The western half of the building contains maker spaces: state-of-the-art fabrication rooms with robots and wood shop tools.
While the exterior of the building has been left mostly untouched, the whole of the structure has been seismically retrofitted and its interiors upgraded with new surfaces and partitions. Upon entering the building, one discovers a waiting lounge demarcated by an abstracted triumphal arch. The area is wrapped on two sides by a luscious indoor green wall while white prisms—actually, light cannons designed to reflect sunlight indoors—descend from the ceiling above the adjacent reception desk. Spaces beyond contain an arrangement of single-height partitions and fully-enclosed meeting rooms, all sandwiched between polished concrete floors and the soaring, lumber arches of the bow-trusses distinctive to L.A.’s industrial architecture.
Kimm explained that daylighting strategies guided the design: “We staggered the placement of enclosed spaces so light could penetrate all the way through the building.”
The following bays provide more offices and lead to a semi-formal, wood-paneled amphitheater and cafe lounge. The lounge overlooks the new Arts District Park, designed by staff landscape architects from the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering with JFAK, who designed a shade structure for it. The half-acre park features a playground and landscaping fed by a gray water–reclamation system designed by LADWP. BuroHappold was the mechanical and sustainability engineer.
The western portion of the building contains utilitarian conference rooms, laboratories, and fabrication spaces. Generously proportioned gypsum and glass partition–lined hallways snake along the main party wall at the center of the complex, connecting the business and fabrication spaces along a social core. These routes connect physically discrete spaces, giving the building’s interiors a sense relative impermanence that contrasts with the solid masonry walls and the elaborate truss ceiling above, now bedazzled with all manner of mechanical and electrical systems.
Kimm explained: “[With LKIC] ‘adaptive reuse’ meant that we had to make a building that had enough identity on its own, as a unifying architectural framework, but that would still allow the individuals to have their own voices. The project revolved around finding a balance and knowing when to stop.”
This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect’s Newspaper’s coverage of your city and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.
Los Angeles–based Bureau Spectacular recently debuted a 2,000-square-foot flagship store for Frankie, a high-end fashion house. The shop, located in L.A.’s Arts District, is a spare box with polished floors and exposed brick walls framing what the firm calls a “super furniture” piece. The exterior is covered in black and white graphics that riff on the early 20th-century structure’s industrial detailing, with framed, jack-arched windows and various downspouts and roll-up doors along the facade painted with diagonal black bands—streaks of extreme shadow.
Inside, Bureau Spectacular designed an assembly of functional volumes that can be brought together into one 28-by-10-foot staircase. The firm’s founder Jimenez Lai considers the staircase to be the latest in the firm’s “super furniture” line of works, with the constituent components of the sculptural stair containing clothing racks, dressing rooms, storage bins, and display shelves. Lai described the work as an exploration of composition and part-to-whole relationships, with the interplay between those two aspects of the design being rather literal.