APC Melrose Place

2014
Los Angeles, California
Architect of Record – WORD
Designer – Laurent Deroo, Paris

Conceived as a composition of material, texture and light, this space is a structure with two faces – one peering out to a busy avenue, and the other engaging a quiet street – both acting to guard what’s within.  An open wood lattice boosts the scale of the single story facade while preserving the existing structure, thus opening a new dialogue of texture and materiality to a street awash in stucco. The silhouette of the 40’s building, now dressed in black, appears as a shadow beyond.

Juxtaposing the wooden veil and monolithic finish, the interior is a precious respite, cast with ample day-lighting from high windows and skylights.  A long glass wall pivots open to breathe fresh air flowing in over the lush courtyard garden, while wood ceilings add a warm glow to the cool, glossy tile floors.  The rest of the contents, and even the building itself, seem suspended above the ground – either by white rods which delicately hang clothing over wooden rails, or by diagonal oaken stalks that prop open the space toward the garden.  Structure and details work in concert, and the architecture acts to connect air, light and space – creating a precious hidden respite within the bustling city.


AIA Los Angeles Design Award of Merit 2014