Leong Leong and Killefer Flammang Architects reveal the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s newly opened Anita May Rosenstein Campus, which spans nearly a city block in the heart of Hollywood.
Designed by Leong Leong and Killefer Flammang Architects, the new site—located on N. McCadden Place and Santa Monica Boulevard—is a new typology for community-based urban development that includes diverse social and affordable housing programs. 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. The result is a new, integrated platform for living as an intergenerational LGBTQ community.
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.
Envisioning a cohesive campus along N. McCadden Place, 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 (or over four acres).
“The Center’s leaders gave KFA and Leong Leong a clear vision: that the design of the new Anita May Rosenstein Campus must reflect the boldness, optimism, and absolute certainty of the Center’s mission to care for, champion, and celebrate LGBT individuals and families,” said KFA Partner Barbara Flammang, AIA. “KFA is immensely proud to have participated in the creation of this historic new campus. We hope that the design and formal expression of these buildings and open, landscaped spaces contribute to the flourishing of the people who live in, work at, and visit this wonderful place.”
“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. “It is a symbol and an intersectional platform for social progress forged by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and comes at a moment when this progress must be relentlessly supported and sustained. 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 design of the Campus emphasizes connectivity with the surrounding neighborhood. 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 for housing, administration, and The Ariadne Getty Foundation Youth Academy on upper floors. The new Campus aims to synthesize and expand upon a range of services for youth, seniors, and administration that the Center previously provided across different locations throughout the city of Los Angeles, including its Cultural Arts programs housed at the adjacent The Village.
Inspired by the scale and gardens of historic Hollywood courtyard homes, the Campus offers safe and private outdoor spaces for its clients and staff. Large sliding doors around the interior courtyard of the Youth Center can be opened up to a communal kitchen and main activity room, creating a seamless connection between inside and outside. 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, as well as a reference to the Center’s logo itself, 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. The space can be divided into two smaller-scale rooms for community programs. 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.
In addition to these elements, Phase II of the Campus, scheduled to be completed in early-2020, will include 98 units of affordable housing for seniors and 25 supportive housing apartments for young people.