Nestled in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles, City Market Social House is comprised of two warehouses and serves as an ideal representation of the area’s rich industrial history and current unprecedented growth and revitalization. The original warehouses had opened in 1909 and were part of the six-acre expanse that made up the City Market of Los Angeles compound. Around thirty years later, the Market had developed into one of the biggest wholesale produce centers within the United States and was lauded for its advanced facilities. City Market’s growth eventually slowed and the produce facility was soon obsolete, leading to the abandonment and neglect of the entire premises for many years. Studio Antares renovated two of the warehouses from the original City Market with the intention of breathing new life to structures which had been originally well-designed and well-built, but whose programs and functions had not stood the test of time. The newly renovated City Market Social House has a program which sprawls over 20,000 sq. ft. and serves as a multipurpose event space, a perfect site for social events including major industry events, award shows, opening and closing receptions, product launches, conferences, filming and even large private celebrations. Contrasting the warehouses’ previous program to the present program speaks to a contemporary shift in the scale of public space compared to the scale of former industrial spaces; the transition of outdated industrial spaces into public spaces proves to be inevitable. Given that the City Market Social House represents the largest existing collection of pre-World War II commercial and community buildings in Downtown Los Angeles, Studio Antares worked to preserve and reinforce the existing concrete frame and bow trusses, while providing a new roof, exterior enclosure, interior partitions and mezzanines.
The exposed bow trusses and concrete frame can be seen throughout the contiguous event space that includes an assembly hall, smaller gathering hall, full restaurant-size kitchen, bar, lounge, greenroom, studios, plus an outdoor patio. City Market Social House is a celebration of what is quintessentially Los Angeles: from the classic California archetype of a wood trussed warehouse to the utilization of the distinct radiance of the California sunshine, the project is the ultimate L.A. space. The interior palette is made of contrasting natural materials; brick, wood, and weathered corrugated panels all play with one another against fresh white walls. The warm wood trusses and crisp polished concrete floors are seemingly enhanced by the light filtered through the expanse of large roll-up glazed doors which run along the two sides of the main space. These glazed garage doors line the former loading dock area and open into the outdoor patio, enabling guests to enjoy the temperate Los Angeles weather and also open to the main alley. The main alley serves as a central spine for the entire block and becomes a pedestrian promenade for the rest of the buildings on the block, bringing a new found sense of conviviality to the area.
City Market Social House is located within a mile radius of several city landmarks and convenient to multiple freeways, providing easy access for guests. Once a social anchor in the 1900’s as a wholesale produce facility to then an abandoned shell of a building, Studio Antares has transformed City Market Social House into a thriving social hub once again. The area is no longer an overlooked, desolate part of the city but instead, has become a vibrant destination for Los Angeles denizens.
Studio Antares A+E is a collaborative practice with aim on integration of architecture, arts and environment through emphasis on advanced methods of project delivery. We operate in a think-tank type of environment assembling team of experts for the particular needs of each job. Based in Los Angeles, California and practicing throughout the United States and around the world, we strive to understand the specific cultural context of each task that we undertake to find a unique solution for each particular challenge.