LA Metropolis is an extraordinary retail and residential complex in Los Angeles, whose interior architecture was created by Jean-Gabriel Neukomm’s New York-based studio.
As the name suggests, Metropolis in downtown Los Angeles is a veritable city within a city and one of the largest mixed-use complexes in California. The first phase, the 38-floor R1 tower, was completed in summer 2017. The second, completed in 2018, saw the construction of the two condominium towers, R2 and R3, with 42 and 60 floors, respectively.
The interior architecture of each has its own unique vocabulary. Neukomm and his team identified distinctive motifs and details through a photographic survey of downtown Los Angeles. They then worked to translate these elements from the local architectural heritage into a 21st century aesthetic. The concept behind the interiors therefore grew out of Los Angeles’s art deco past. As you walk through the development, you soon see how the interiors of the three towers are different, each characterized by motifs derived from the facades of three nearby art deco landmarks: the East Columbia Building (1930), the Palace Theater (1911), and the Oviatt Building (1928) by Walker & Eisen.
Producing these elements – which range from digitized stone mosaics to custom-printed wallpapers and fabrics – involved numerous modern manufacturing processes. The patterns and forms were then reinterpreted and modified in the main architectural elements of the project and its custom-made furnishings.
Neukomm set out to bridge the gap between the historical context of the local neighborhood and the ongoing renaissance of the downtown area to create a deeply rooted sense of place in this international project.
The guiding design aesthetic applied equally to the lobby and amenity space furnishings. Working closely with Greenland USA’s vast network of tradespeople, Neukomm designed most of the furniture for the public spaces, which allowed him to expand the architectural vocabulary to new levels.
Owner: Greenland USA
Location: Los Angeles, California
Photographer: Chris Villano