Los Angeles – Architecture’s greatest power is to create spaces that bring people together. Leong Leong and Killefer Flammang Architects have completed the LA LGBT Center’s newly opened Anita May Rosenstein Campus, which spans nearly a city block in the heart of Hollywood. The Campus is a new typology for community-based urban development that includes diverse social and affordable housing programs.
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“The Anita May Rosenstein Campus is an unprecedented intergenerational project for the LGBTQ community and the City of Los Angeles,” says Dominic Leong, AIA, Founding Partner of Leong Leong to Archipanic. “We hope this project serves as a new model for alternative ways of community-based living. We must continue to be ambitious about the equitable future of our cities and serving those in need.”
The porous, pedestrian-oriented urban Campus features a public plaza and a series of courtyards that unify various social services as well as cultural and institutional programs, all located directly across the street from another Center facility, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, the Center currently serves more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, welcoming more than 42,000 client visits each month.
The new Campus enables a dramatic expansion of the Center’s intergenerational services, including 100 beds for homeless youth, the state-of-the-art Harry & Jeannette Weinberg Senior Center, Youth Center, and The Ariadne Getty Foundation Youth Academy, as well as expanded programming, administrative space, a retail space, and more.
The design concept integrates a mosaic of unique spaces and programs that—together with The Village—welcomes and connects residents, neighbors, clients, and staff. The masterplan includes 12 dedicated programs, each a distinct form that, together, comprise a multiplicity of identities spanning over 180,000 square feet.
By modulating the scale of the building along its edge, the Campus is approachable directly from the street, creating an interface to the neighborhood while accommodating larger programs. Inspired by the scale and gardens of historic Hollywood courtyard homes, safe and private outdoor spaces for its clients and staff feature large sliding doors around the interior courtyard of the Youth Center which can be opened up to a communal kitchen and main activity room.
Along the perimeter of the building, the entrances and windows are carefully located to allow access, views, and light while providing the necessary privacy for clientele and staff. A new public plaza, or urban room, allows for outdoor gatherings and events.
As a reference to the spotlights used by film production studios in the neighborhood, three anamorphic cut-outs in the frit pattern of the curtain wall create perfect circles when viewed from specific locations on Santa Monica Boulevard and N. McCadden Place, animating the building for passing cars and pedestrians.
At the heart of the Campus is Pride Hall, a 50-foot-tall flexible event space that opens directly onto the plaza with large bi-folding doors. In the plaza, an elevator tower provides access to the rooftop deck, an urban observatory overlooking the historic Hollywood sign. The glass façade of Pride Hall is angled toward The Village across the street. Pride Hall’s entrance incorporates a heritage wall depicting the history of the Center and LGBT community.
All photos by Iran Baan – courtesy of Leon Leong.