Back in Rehab
September 29, 2010 § Leave a comment
At Studio 111 we love to work on adaptive re-use projects. There’s something about re-purposing a derelict building that seems appropriate in this budget constrained, energy conscious age. And the texture, history and materials of older buildings just can’t be replicated with new construction. (Check-out the awesome Waterhouse Hotel in Shanghai in the September 2010 issue of Architectural Record – architects, trained to create new buildings, love something about ruin and decay as well). Our latest adaptive re-use project is the Continental Graphics Building rehabilitation on La Brea Boulevard in Los Angeles. Some of the materials and graphics of the project will play off the history of the site as one of LA’s premier printing shops, but the first phases of work are fairly straightforward – creating new storefronts and interiors (we’re collaborating with Mark Hershman from Shubin Donaldson) in order to re-purpose the buildings from light industrial to retail and/or creative offices. A lot of the construction is being done on spec, so the buildings are fairly neutral in order for the tenants to come in and provide a unique identity. And the whole vibe of the street, with American Rag, Volcom and Undefeated on the same block, is pretty low-key-cool. That’s a good thing, since the budgets are low-key too. Beyond the buildings themselves, our ultimate goal is seeing revitalized storefronts and tenants, new streetscaping (we’re working with Ahbe Landscape design) and pedestrian improvements and traffic calming occur so that this block transforms into a more walkable retail destination. And once that happens, extend the improvements both North and South. That may take some time, which is OK. We’re happy the first phases have begun. The contractor is Del Amo Construction (it’s a design-build project), and our client is developer Madison Marquette.