John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
1461 E 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
213 253 4740
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c. JFAK, 2020
CIVIC reimagines the West LA Civic Center (WLACC), which currently houses an abandoned courthouse, outdated senior center, underutilized central plaza, and functioning library and municipal office building. The design transforms WLACC into a vibrant new mixed-use hub of residential, civic, and commercial life – and suggests what thoughtfully-designed urban living in Los Angeles might offer in the near future.
CIVIC celebrates WLACC’s mid-century modern character through balanced but dynamic and widely varied massing that responds sensitively to the surrounding context. Its overall density is moderate, but its variation allows the accommodation of increased numbers of residents and types of uses. Importantly, the corner of Corinth Ave and Santa Monica Blvd becomes a new welcome point, drawing pedestrians and visitors using mass transit into a dynamic necklace of connected and inclusive public spaces that come together to form a new “Town Square.” Taller, higher-density buildings are located along Santa Monica Blvd. Lower-density townhouses line Iowa Avenue at the south. The park and plazas of the Town Square are bordered by retail, existing library, and relocated bandstand, and are anchored at the northeast entry by a vibrant new senior center.
CIVIC’s architectural expression celebrates heterogeneity as a defining characteristic of our richly diverse and vibrant metropolis. The market-rate housing helps to subsidize the affordable and senior housing. The project, with its distributed varieties of housing and amenities, welcomes all ages, incomes, and races – and eschews privatized living in favor of interaction and community.