This mixed-use office is a renovation designed to engage the community. Discrete exterior and interior moments create a dynamic interactions with the sidewalk and street, while sustainability incorporating the building’s existing structure. Located on a busy thoroughfare near restaurants and shops, the contemporary overhaul reactivates its surroundings through directional glazed openings and projections to engage a variety of points-of-view to and from neighbors, pedestrians, and drivers passing by. Peel out windows and cantilevered rooms engage the sidewalk while extending the space of the office interiors; A cantilevered conference room defines the front corner, and an animated alley façade brings new life to formerly ignored space – The renovation uses distinct formal tactics to create connections between the public and the building’s interior.
Certain horizontal window boxes peel away from the building to meet pedestrians, others bend for varying glimpses quick-moving cars and a nearby gas station –a nod to the active ‘car culture’ so inherent to Los Angeles. The façade organization results in an office interior defined by varying angles and qualities of light as much as various views. Despite being relatively open in plan, the specifity of façade openings and angles create distinct spaces and atmospheres within the working areas. At night, the windows illuminate the sidewalk, giving back to the public space in evening in much the same way that the overhead projections shade the same sidewalks from the direct sun; The office is a private space, but designed for the community. By creating these shared spaces and views, the building discovers a kind of urbanism that addresses and reinvigorates the pedestrian street while maximizing its full site footprint. The building’s interactions and connections with the neighborhood and public have already made it a local landmark, and perhaps a kind of model for generic space to generate specific, local relationships.
The 6,000 square foot building’s existing structure was fully utilized to lower the project’s environmental cost even while supporting a completely transformed identity and public relationship. The vulcraft type trusses were exposed on the interior of the upper office floor, with mechanical skylights to illuminate and naturally ventilate the space. Anodized aluminum windows and wall panels combine with smooth white stucco peel out windows to define a shaded pattern on the façade, and new storefront glazing opens the retail up to the sidewalks, where cantilevered windows provide shade and protection from the rain for a more protected sidewalk.
Griffin Enright Architects, founded by Margaret Griffin, FAIA, and John Enright, FAIA, LEED AP, is a Los Angeles-based collaborative design practice that explores new potentials for the built environment. Their integration of architectural, urban, landscape, and interior design focuses strategic and inventive thinking to transform the overlooked into landmark projects. The office is widely regarded for its expertise in precision detailing and the construction of sophisticated geometry. That expertise is deployed to explore spatial complexity, movement, lightness, and material. By combining dynamic form with building performance and environmental considerations, they create work that both inspires and expands possibilities for architecture. Griffin Enright Architects have received more than 50 commendations for design excellence and have been extensively published and exhibited. Both principals bridge the profession and the academy as active educators and researchers