New Digs: Located in Downtown Los Angeles, one block from the Los Angeles Police Department’s new headquarters, this 300,000 square foot, 5-story concrete structure integrates three components that typically stand on their own: an 800 car parking structure for the LAPD’s employees; a mechanics’ garage, car wash, and refueling station for the LAPD’s top brass; and a culturally-oriented retail component along Main Street.
Street life: In order to minimize its impact on the developing neighborhood, the mechanics’ garage is located at the rear of the site, a half level below the street. The main volume of the structure is set back from the sidewalk in order to preserve views of St. Vibiana’s Cathedral, which until recently was the home of the Archdiocese and now serves as a cultural center. Slated to be an art gallery, the one-story retail component sits immediately on the sidewalk in order to enliven and activate life along the street. Its glass curtain wall will allow the art to have an enlivening presence for both pedestrians and passing cars alike.
Downtown Renaissance: Holding all these elements together is an undulating, vertically-banded, stainless steel mesh screen which stretches across the full width of the 300-foot long structure. Painted in a pattern of leaf-like forms with two tones of green, it creates a dynamic, joyful image that represents the “greening” of Los Angeles. It also provides a high level of security for the LAPD employees in a manner that allows the structure to be naturally ventilated. Not shying away from its own presence, at night its glowing screen contributes a warm, friendly glow to the general renaissance of Downtown LA.