The Wilshire Courtyard project transforms a 1980’s mid-rise entryway into a vibrant and inviting courtyard for a new generation in the heart of Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile neighborhood.
AN OPPORTUNITY IN THE COURTYARD
The existing 50,000 square foot courtyard is carved into the footprint of two large office buildings directly south of Wilshire Boulevard. In plan, the two buildings are internally facing U-shapes, nearly symmetrical but off-center, with an entry drive and visitor drop off dividing the ground level into two distinct outdoor spaces. These outdoor areas have been underutilized by building occupants who primarily use the central drive to access adjacent parking areas or as a route to neighboring restaurants. The new design provides instead a somewhat less direct path but one that encourages utilization of the courtyard throughout the day with lush landscapes, shaded sitting areas, and dramatic lighting. The now colorful courtyard is an urban haven for both pedestrians and onlookers.
A LANDSCAPE PATCHWORK QUILT
The courtyard was conceived as a planted tapestry of colorful and playful topographic elements. This “patchwork quilt” is composed of a field of vibrant flowering plants contained within undulating white planter walls. Integrated cove lights in the planters convey a sense of levitation during evening hours, reinforcing the lightness and elegance of the planters.
Further enhancing the three-dimensional nature of the patchwork are three large shade trellis structures. Clad in custom white perforated metal panels, these pavilions support brightly colored bougainvillea to provide a cool, shaded gathering spot during the summer months. The concrete ground plane has been updated with a tartan control joint pattern that whimsically extends the lines of the new planters. These courtyard elements, along with the meandering pathways, seating areas, and vivid signage, create a continuous visual experience that crosses the drive aisle to unite the two courtyards. The new color palette compliments the existing stone facade but creates a more subdued contrast for a more fluid connection between the existing buildings and the new courtyard.
LOCATION / Los Angeles, CA
TYPE / Renovation of an existing exterior corporate courtyard and entryway
CLIENT / Tishman Speyer
SIZE / 50,000 sf
STATUS / Completed 2014
ROLE / Design Architect, Landscape Designer and Architect of Record
AWARDS / Westside Prize, Westside Urban Forum, 2016