The Art Room
Los Angeles, California
7,750 sq. ft.
This mixed-use development is a creative work and play space in the downtown Los Angeles Fashion District. The building provides maximum flexibility for a diverse range of creative disciplines, represented by an operable screen façade and two adaptable, natural light courtyards. The challenge was in re-thinking how a day-to-night café/creative studio can be configured for safety-in-numbers while encouraging gatherings. In considering a future in which being in the same room with colleagues and friends is a necessity, the design focuses on achieving maximum workability and creating a place for people to come together. By moving operable screen panels, users can control natural light and ventilation to create a light-filled studio, live entertainment venue, culinary experimentation space, and more. Outside, the three-part aluminum screen both identifies and secures the building throughout the day with four possible configurations. Inside, two operable courtyards at the building’s core fill it with light and air. They can open/close to the sky and shift, using sliding glass doors to become part of the café or studio on either side for uses such as photoshoots, meetings or performances. Birch wall and ceiling panels are the unifying element among the various sections. Each element preserves the 1915 unreinforced brick building while celebrating modern day collaboration. With COVID-19 distancing guidelines fresh in the collective psyche, this building answers the need for coming together and creating together.
Brian Wickersham (Principal-in-Charge), Matthew Aulicino, Burcin Nalinci, Taylor Nunes, Louie Bofill, Matthew McFetrick