Los Angeles is a unique and special environment, and we wanted to work with an architecture team that could enhance and articulate our vision, as well as would deeply understand the city’s inherent nature and generous assets. Perry Rubenstein ultimately selected wHY Architecture and Kulapat Yantrasast because of the latter’s experience and work as Tadao Ando’s project architect on the prestigious Teatro Armani in Milan and the Punta della Dogana: Francois Pinault Foundation in Venice.
Having chosen the brilliant design team of wHY Architecture, under the intrepid and talented leadership of Kulapat Yantrasast, we feel we have designed a gallery that is not only spectacular for our artists, but one we could have only designed in Los Angeles.
Coming to Los Angeles was an opportunity, and a challenge. By coming West, we had new elements to work with, to be aware of and to respect, which are inherently unique to LA. We were met with design opportunities that were never part of any planning we would have encountered back in NYC. Not only did we have to consider how to design the optimal interior gallery space, but we had to take into account the fantastic, natural light of LA, the year round sunshine that enters the space in a way like nowhere else. We had to consider the temperate climate which has all seasons implications for access and traffic to the gallery as well as use of the building. We had to consider the new and generous availability of land, the space to spread beyond just the front door, which gave us the ability to go up, and out, and back. And with the brilliant design of wHY Architecture, we feel we have made use of all of these unique Los Angeles attributes.
First off, we wanted to create a space in which two artists can co-exist equally. So we set out and designed two galleries that live side by side without intruding on each other, without creating hierarchy, or a priority space. We wanted a space that is both grand and generous, but still retains a sense of intimacy. The result is two beautiful galleries separated by an open sky atrium that lends a contemplative and natural environment to make each gallery space inviting for the true appreciation and intimate experience of the art works.
Los Angeles is surrounded by an astounding array of mountains, ocean and desert. By the inclusion of natural materials in the space, as in our oculus skylight in the east gallery, we allow our interior spaces to reference and welcome the natural landscape environment of Los Angeles. Our interior spaces not only embrace the natural surroundings of LA, but enhances them thematically for a unique art viewing experience. We wanted the art to reside inside the galleries and viewing rooms organically, just as Los Angeles blends into its natural environment. And we wanted to allow the space to grow naturally, which includes the back exterior which has already been used for exhibits as well as social events, and the roof, which will add a spectacularly exhibition space, and has yet to be revealed.
In all we were guided by an obsession with natural light, a desire for a design to allow for the organic perambulation of the space, and the creation of discreet experiences for the viewing of art in each room which is equal to, no less and no greater than, the one you were coming from.