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639 Larchmont Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

Team

Mark Rios
Julie Smith-Clementi
Frank Clementi
Bob Hale
Michael Martinez
Jennifer Charles
Ryan Vasquez
Chris Adamick
Agnes Pierscieniak

Categories

Architecture
Awards
Graphics
Interiors
In 2006, Rios Clementi Hale Studios outgrew their existing office space. The partners of the firm purchased a building in Larchmont Village and transformed the once pink stucco structure into a modern mixed-use facility that houses their office and store, a busy café and a local salon.

This story starts with the decision to completely remove the exterior skin. Key existing assets were kept and enhanced, including skylights, generous floor to ceiling heights and an east-west building orientation, while walls and roof tiles were replaced with a sleek glass and metal exterior skin. The abstracted water pattern cut into the building’s aluminum panels honors the site’s history which was once the Hollywood Swim Arts School.
The unit organization was radically transformed from 16 spaces to 4. A ground floor courtyard was enclosed and a central stair inserted to create an atrium to connect both levels. The second floor retains the double-loaded organization with work studios on each side but the effect is new with walls and ceilings opened up to the main corridor and exposed framing and beams overhead.

The individual exterior balconies on the second floor were unified and extended to create a “screen-porch” effect that blurs the interior and exterior when the sliding glass doors are open. The first floor shops and café activate the building and northern edge of Larchmont and extends the building’s use into the evening.
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