LocationUnited States, Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Text description provided by the architects. The design challenge for this healthcare office was updating an aging, dank, disconnected 1960s facility, re-energizing a business’ culture and espirit d’corps.
A dark, disconnected interior is transformed into a vibrant, naturally lit work environment that honors the bones of an existing mid-century building, anchoring it in the city by revealing views to Downtown Los Angeles to the east and Hollywood Hills to the west.
The solution was to leverage the architecture’s excellent 1960s Modernist bones and proportions, revealing its inherent openness for the first time in its existence. The top floor is connected to the adjacent parking, the street below, the City beyond and the sky above. Removed spandrels reveal the openness of the original storefront walls, bringing in light and view. Color and light defines and delineates spaces in an open working environment.
A new connective architectural zone garbed in yellow celebrates arrival and movement through the heart of the facility. From the westerly side a new two-story, street-facing stairwell and its perforated metal stair connect the top floor to this important city street and program below. The stair frames the westerly views of the City and Hollywood Hills and filters afternoon light. At the easterly side a new social deck frames robust views to the adjacent neighborhood and downtown LA skyline beyond. New skylights and glass walls pour massive natural light onto many white surfaces minimizing need for artificial lighting. Acoustical “confetti” baffles dance throughout the open office ceiling and provide visual continuity and noise attenuation.
Sustainability objectives are achieved with new skylights which transform previously artificially lit, dreary spaces into an energetic light-filled work environment. Diffused skylights provide an even spread of natural light to all corners of the open office reducing dependency on overhead lighting during the day. Predominant use of white surfaces on the floor, tabletops, and newly exposed ceilings maximize the bounce and spread of light that enters the space. Large new openings are created on both sides of the building to allow ample natural light into the lobby and allow views to Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood Hills. From the westerly side old spandrel panels are replaced with low-e glazing at the new double-height entry stair and lobby. At the easterly side an old CMU infill wall is replaced by a new storefront with low-e glazing looking onto the new deck at the office parking.