A museum’s new neighborhood has become the subject of its latest exhibit.
The Architecture and Design Museum, which moved from a location near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Miracle Mile about six months ago, launched an exhibit last week focused on designers who were inspired by downtown Los Angeles. The museum is now located at 900 E. Fourth St. in the Arts District.
The exhibit, “Come In! DTLA,” features designers from disciplines including architecture, graphics, fashion, and the arts who have felt the allure of the neighborhood.
It’s a topic now literally close to the museum.
“Since we’re in a new location downtown, we wanted to choose people who were working in downtown Los Angeles,” said Katie Whorrall, the museum’s director of operations. “It’s very exciting to be in this young, up-and-coming neighborhood.”
The museum was forced from its former location to make way for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Purple Line extension, which will eventually run along Wilshire Boulevard through Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Century City, and Westwood.
“We didn’t have a choice,” Whorrall said, noting that the Metro line will go directly through the museum’s old stomping grounds.
But the new space – a converted warehouse with exposed brick and open truss ceiling – will provide a trendy backdrop for the latest art found within.
The 18-piece exhibit includes a 3-D- printed clothing top from designer Behnaz Farahi as well as a virtual reality gaming installation by design firm Ozel Office, which also calls the Arts District home.
Downtown architecture firm Tim Durfee Studio is another participant. Its video installation explores the role of people, politics, buildings, economies, and ideas within a city. “Come In! DTLA” will be on display until June 23.
General admission tickets cost $15.
Going for Spin
SoulCycle is spinning its way into downtown L.A.’s South Park neighborhood.
The popular indoor cycling studio, headquartered in New York, opened a location at the Level Furnished Living executive housing complex at 888 S. Olive St. last week.
“As we listened to riders in terms of where they want us to open a new location, downtown kept getting requested,” said Vicky Land, a SoulCycle spokeswoman. “South Park is populated with the kinds of people, from bankers and lawyers to fashion people and artists … so (the location) was a natural fit.”
The owner of the complex, Onni Group, is also hoping that the SoulCycle branch will bring additional attention to the 303-unit complex and its luxury hotel-style amenities – particularly among young professionals looking for a place to stay while in town. Other features include a separate health club-style gym, yoga area, valet parking, and a round-the-clock concierge. Level Furnished Living, which offers short- and long-term stay options, was nearly 90 percent full last month, though many of those occupants were Porter Ranch residents displaced by the Aliso Canyon gas leak.
“We see Level becoming a major player in the area’s continuing transition into a true neighborhood,” said Javier Cepeda, regional vice president for Vancouver, British Columbia’s Onni.
The company has also recruited Cognoscenti Coffee, L-Sushi, and an artisanal ice-cream shop to the building. All three of those retail tenants will open for business later this year, according to Cepeda.
Union Station Revamp
The environmental review process has begun for a planned massive overhaul of downtown’s Union Station, and the Central City Association was prepared to voice its concern at a March 31 hearing.
The Union Station Master Plan, drawn up for owner Metro by Mid-Wilshire’s Gruen Associates and Grimshaw Architects of London, calls for an expanded multimodal passenger concourse, the relocation of the bus plaza to the west of the rail yard, consolidation of bus operations at the new plaza, and the refurbishing of the station building and its courtyards. It also calls for steps to accommodate the state High Speed Rail project, should that project actually enter construction in the L.A. area.
The master plan envisions up to 3.2 million square feet of new commercial development on parcels on either side of the rail yard. Proposals for that development would come later.
While the association welcomes most aspects of the master plan, Carol Schatz, its chief executive, said there’s one major concern: a proposal to reconfigure Alameda Street in front of Union Station to increase pedestrian access to nearby L.A. Plaza and Olvera Street by taking away a traffic lane.
“CCA has concerns about the proposed vehicular lane reduction on Alameda Street,” Schatz said. “It’s a heavily used commercial vehicle corridor.”
Staff reporters Natalie Schachar, Elyse Glickman, and Howard Fine contributed to this column. #DTLA is compiled by Managing Editor Omar Shamout. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.