759 Spring St.
Chinatown, Los Angeles. In the 1880’s this building functioned as a furniture factory. The next tenants were half Chinese fish market, half beauty supply store.
Size: 23,000 SF
The interior was filled with paths that felt like Beirut where you are trying to lose someone as they tailed you. It was clear that it wasn’t just a mess or somewhere that had collected things over time. You could see that people had lived their lives inside of these dark spaces filled with fumes and cigarette butts.
- Kevin Mulcahy AIA, Managing Partner
The original idea was to keep the old facade and in fill a few windows. Demolition is always our biggest friend; as you strip away opportunities present themselves. What we thought was brick was really 7/8 inch stucco. We had accepted that there were not going to be funds to make the changes the building needed, so when the hole was created it became the moment that made the project. Once the stucco was revealed there was an opportunity to embrace an area that had been patched during previous repairs and replace all of that brick with windows to open up the facade from 8 windows to what it is now.
No one wanted the facade that existed, so this essential move created what it is today. This is something we wish we could do to every building, but typically there is too much heavy lifting. By opening up the space it allowed for very necessary circulation.
- Rick Cortez, Principal
Every project presents moments that we both learn and grow from. One of those moments within 759 Spring was the power station. The original meter base and switch gear are there, but power was redistributed to provide service for a second user. It’s openly located inside one of the conference rooms. Both the function and aesthetic of this station are used as a reference point on our projects to this day.