Los Angeles, California
Located on historic Wilshire Boulevard in the Los Angeles district of Koreatown, Wilshire Vermont Station is the most unique and truest mixed-use transit-oriented development in the city. The unprecedented mix of housing, retail and a public school surrounding a subway station represents a new paradigm in Los Angeles for filling the voids in the urban fabric that for so long compromised the character of the city and for creatively balancing density with public space.
Built around the Wilshire Vermont stop along the Los Angeles subway Metro Redline station, the project consists of 449 apartments in six floors over 30,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a 3-story, 120,000 square foot middle school with 32 classrooms. The project also includes three levels of subterranean parking for 900 cars.
The seven-story apartment/retail buildings are conceived as a series of linear bars positioned to define and hold the street edges, while also enclosing a major public courtyard that leads to a monumental new subway portal. The bars are articulated by a staccato pattern of protruding, multi-story vertical window bays and smaller recessed punched windows, each representing the living rooms and bedrooms of the apartments, respectively. The housing units are a mix of studio, one-bedroom and 2-bedroom market-rate apartments. Also included are a business center, fitness center and community rooms.
At the important intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue, the ends of the building bars have been sliced short of the corner and folded outward to create an abstracted “arch” leading to the public courtyard. These folded planes are covered in colorful murals by artist April Grieman. Just beyond the courtyard is the portal to the subway station, emphasized by a brilliant red ceiling and enclosed in dynamic “cage” of glass and perforated metal.
The middle school is an L-shaped building that defines the street edges on the opposite ends of the shared site and encloses the outdoor playground.
Designed under the direction of Christopher Coe while Managing Director and Director of Design of Arquitectonica Los Angeles.