Within Los Angeles lie a wide variety of different styles, traditions, and people. There is an artistic culture that is culminating within the downtown scene, around the area of Grand Ave. and First Street with the Art Walk and the contemporary art museums located in the area. Designed across the street from the Disney Concert Hall, it makes use of the site’s slope and existing excavated cliff used for the parking lot, in order to be built into the site. By utilizing the slope, I was able to provide a two level exhibition space on Grand Ave., while presenting a five story grand public gesture coming up from First St. The purpose is to address the existing context surrounding the Plexus. With the iconic Disney Concert Hall across the street, the Plexus does not offer a competing presence, but a subtle complement that has large public spaces provided for the Grand Ave. community and the Disney Concert Hall. However, from First Street, the complex appears to be a much larger building where many people will come together to view the local art and enjoy the large public areas decorated with the residents’ exhibits.
The program assigned within the complex consists of a two-story exhibition museum on the Grand Ave. plane, which funnels to three lower levels of live/work design studios and commercial space on a sublevel that includes a main plaza. Each level has terracing open areas, which allow for the local artists and designers who reside within the complex to exhibit their work, promoting an artistic community, similar to the Brewery Artwalk in Los Angeles. Within this community the residential artists can collaborate and share with each other their common interests. With the Los Angeles Artwalk beginning down the street at the Museum of Contemporary Art, I proposed to move the starting point to the Plexus, and incorporate it within the LA Artwalk. Thus, the Plexus becomes an extension of the art event, encouraging Los Angeles culture. With the prime location across the street from the iconic concert hall, I believe the Plexus would serve as a great starting point for the Art Walk, which is revitalizing the downtown art scene.
This project was part of Cal Poly Pomona’s Bobby Brook’ Memorial Studio, which was funded by Walt Disney Imagineering. It was awarded the Bobby Brooks Award by a panel of Imagineers.