ARCH 302B: Architectural Design III Gallery: Re-thinking the LA industrial vernacular and the long span tradition

Leimert Park Community Center

The community center is integrated into the Leimert Park neighborhood by means of an open web truss system and point supported glazing system that allows for visual connectivity within the building and to its exterior. The building is very open and flexible, serving as an extension of cultural engagement and exploration from the street. The shell is lifted at the entrance and angled towards the vibrant section of the street and the park, allowing for visitors to flow smoothly into the building and to the upper collaborative spaces. Visitors circulate primarily through the series of staircases that link the different programmatic platforms, which feature informal, flexible gathering spaces, unfolding around the structured, contained spaces. The openness of the building allows for spontaneous collaboration as each visitor creates their own experience through their path of travel. They experience these moments of interaction under controlled light that is filtered in through the micro louvers and northern facing louvers on the roof, creating a balance between exterior and interior light conditions. The acoustical ceiling system of wood slats is used as a means of sound absorption but also folds down the walls to define special moments such as the entry way or central gathering space which is interconnected through the network of circulation and flexible spaces. All in all, visitors to the community center are afforded the opportunity to collaborate and immerse themselves in the culture of Leimert Park in a controlled indoor environment with a transparent building structure to reveal activities taking place both inside and outside.