Los Angeles, CA | 2002

Located in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, this 2001 renovation of a well-known but down-on-its-heels bar helped catalyze the transformation of Abbot Kinney Blvd. into one of the most vibrant commercial streets in the city. 

The richness of materials, colors, and textures in the new design creates a sensuous public space that welcomes the diverse spirit of Venice. Its mixture of elements from high and low culture maintains the original, ad-hoc quality of the bar’s interior while appealing to a new generation of patrons. A fourteen-foot long steel table with an integrated ashtray moves in and out of one of the bar’s two front doors and creates a lively space for smokers to gather on the public sidewalk. In the early evening, it serves as a communal dining table. 

Suggesting that the ubiquitous parking lots in LA can also do double duty, the parking area for the Brig was conceived as a public plaza where both cars and people can intermingle. The building’s iconic mural, which has served as the unofficial gateway into the neighborhood since its creation by Art Mortimer in 1972, has been restored and lit with fluorescent lights.


Project Team

Principal-in-Charge: John Friedman
Project Architect: John Martin
Project Team: Alice Kimm, Joel Cichowski
Project Assistant: Mark Meyer
Structural Engineer: William Koh and Associates, Inc.
Landscape Designer: Jay Griffith
Lighting Design: FIRE Ltd.
Barstools Design and Fabrication: Ilan Dei
General Contractor: Brunswick Builders
Photography: Fotoworks


2002 I.D. Annual Design Review
Environments Category, Best of Environments Award



David Reiss (interior) and David Paris (exterior)