Los Angeles–area arts spaces are having a rough go of it lately. Just this week, two long-standing art and architecture galleries announced either immediate or planned closures. The Downtown Los Angeles–based Museum of Contemporary Art announced Wednesday that it would be shutting down its architecture and design galleries at the Cesar Pelli–designed Pacific Design Center (PDC) in West Hollywood. Though MOCA has occupied the space for over 20 years, MOCA board chairperson Maria Seferian gave few details in a press release announcing the move, saying simply that “the programming agreement between the two organizations has reached the end of its term.” Seferian added, “We are grateful for our partnership with the PDC ... and now look forward to consolidating and growing our exhibition activities, including presentations on architecture and design, at MOCA’s two Downtown Los Angeles locations.” The museum maintains its flagship, Arata Isozaki–designed location in Downtown Los Angeles’s Bunker Hill district and a Frank Gehry–designed outpost in Little Tokyo. MOCA recently came under the direction of Klaus Biesenbach, the former director of MOMA PS1 in New York City. Over the years, MOCA has exhibited the work of many artists and designers at the PDC, including Takashi Murakami, Catherine Opie, Rodarte, Jean Prouve, and Rick Owens, among others. The current exhibition on view, One Day at a Time: Kahlil Joseph’s Fly Paper, will close out the space on February 24. The news came just one day after Los Angeles Downtown News reported that the local artist–friendly Main Museum had abruptly closed down. According to the report, the museum’s top staff, including museum director Allison Agsten, left their posts in late 2018. The museum is temporarily located in a storefront in L.A.’s Old Bank District as plans for an artful expansion by Tom Wiscombe Architecture (TWA) were supposedly underway. A reason for the museum’s closure has not been stated. The Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) also closed its doors last year following financial troubles and a long and expensive list of necessary building repairs. PMCA opened in 2002 as a non-collecting museum focused exclusively on California art and design from the 1800s to the present. The closures run somewhat counter to the actions of other local arts organizations like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Art and Los Angeles Philharmonic. In advance of a planned closure of its main William Pereira and Pfeiffer Associates–designed flagship, the museum announced its intention to open several satellite locations across the city, including a pair of art spaces in South Los Angeles. The L.A. Philharmonic, on the other hand, is pushing forward with its own expansion to Inglewood, where Gehry Partners is designing a new headquarters for an associated youth orchestra.
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Nardi Associates are planning to unveil a scheme for Main Tower, a new 12-story mixed-use complex next door to the proposed Main Museum in Downtown Los Angeles this week. As reported by Urbanize.la, the proposed scheme for 433 S. Main Street would take over a surface parking lot, replacing the parcel with 196 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments, 6,300 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and underground parking stalls for 167 car and 334 bicycles. According to renderings included in a presentation prepared for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee (DLANC), the tower will match cornice lines with the Rosslyn Lofts building, a 12-story residential masonry building built in 1913 and located next door. The Rosslyn Lofts were originally designed by architect John Parkinson, designer of Los Angeles’s Union Station, City Hall, and the L.A. Coliseum in Exposition Park. The building was renovated in 2009 and targeted toward mixed-income residents; it now features 259 income-restricted micro-apartments as well as market rate lofts. Nardi Associates’ proposal would locate retail functions along Main Street as well as within an interior courtyard open to the street. Apartments would rise above commercial areas in a variety of configurations, leaving a large void along the building’s Main Street facade. The void would create a secondary courtyard space in the complex that would house shared building amenities, including terraces and balconies. Renderings indicate a series of balconies looking onto Main Street joined by various louver assemblies and punched openings. The tower sits directly next door to the forthcoming Tom Wiscombe Architecture-designed Main Museum, a new non-collecting art institution. That project will contain a 40,000 square feet of exhibition areas spread across two buildings; it will also feature a rooftop sculpture garden and amphitheater area. A timeline has not been released for the Nardi Associates project while the first phase of the Main Museum expected to be completed by 2018. 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 area and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.