PRODUCTURA and Part Office Reimagine the Hollywood Athletic Club

February 09, 2020

Minimal, geometric interventions that update ALAC’s historic space with timeless results

In its new exhibition space, the Hollywood Athletic Club, Art Los Angeles Contemporary will span two floors, inhabiting both the Club’s vaulted ceiling ballroom and athletic infrastructure, including gymnasium and racquetball courts. The club was founded by Charlie Chaplin in 1924 and designed by architects Meyer & Holler. At the time, it was Hollywood’s tallest building and first “health club,” frequented by Mae West, Groucho Marx, John Ford, Jean Harlow, Howard Hughes, Joan Crawford, and more. Now, PRODUCTURA from Mexico City, working in close collaboration with Part Office from Los Angeles, will oversee the Club’s revisioning as the venue for ALAC 2020, Los Angeles’s contemporary art fair.

Courtesy of PRODUCTURA and Part Office

The design of the fair rests on PRODUCTURA’s unique philosophy of minimal interventions that update historic spaces with timeless results. As they explained to ALAC, "We are known for projects with sparse and limited design gestures, interventions that allow the pre-existing qualities to come alive. We believe that a similar design attitude was required for ALAC 2020.”

Indeed, PRODUCTURA has created a unique system of geometric forms, which both designate and open up the original, 1920s architecture of the space. These forms establish a contemporary conversation with historic references. As they put it, the Athletic Club’s “mind-blowing racquetball courts, with their beautiful skylights and geometrically stacked interior volumes and mezzanine levels, reminds us of early 20th century art studios as designed by Corbusier or Russian constructivists. We’ve put these historic references into play in designing the final layout and detailing of the fair."

As they summarized, "We are certainly striving for an art fair that will create a constant interaction between visitors, art and architecture: one that establishes an intimate relation between those three components." Visit Art Los Angeles Contemporary from February 13–16, 2020, to inhabit their success yourself.

About the Architects:

PRODUCTURA recently received the prestigious Oscar Niemeyer Prize for architecture, works frequently in connection to the world of contemporary art such as the Baldessari exhibition at Museo Jumex and the exhibition design for ‘The Words of Others’ at REDCAT and PAMM. They also designed the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial and are shortlisted for the Houston Endowment Headquarters International Design Competition.

Part Office is a Los Angeles based architecture and interior design firm that has been internationally published and has participated in a number of exhibitions, including 24x24x24 at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, and Building Stories at the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon. The office also founded and curates the architectural website Subtilitas and co-founded and collaborates with the LA based Cactus Store.

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