Ivanhoe Vista House featured in Los Angeles Times Lifestyles section, covering Formation Association’s Silver Lake residential addition and remodel.
Los Angeles, CA

Atwater Canyon named ‘US Build of the Week’ by World-Architects, distinguishing Formation Association’s adaptive reuse project in Atwater Village.
Los Angeles, CA

Wallpaper* names Formation Association to it’s ‘Architects’ Directory 2023’, the magazine’s ‘round-up of exciting emerging architecture studios.’

Architect magazine distinguishes Formation Association as ‘Next Progressives’, profiling the practice and projects.

Phillips auction house, West Hollywood, CA
Superposition’s group show at Phillips Los Angeles, curated by Storm Ascher, is featured by Cultured magazine as among ‘The Best Black Art Shows in Los Angeles Right Now’.

Memorial Colonnade to the Chinese Victims of 1871
Los Angeles, CA
The Memorial Colonnade, Formation Association’s competition finalist scheme, a collaboration with artists Anna Sew Hoy and Zhu Jia, is mentioned in publications nationally, including: Archinect, Arch Daily, Archpaper, The Los Angeles Times, LAist, and World Landscape Architect.

Memorial Colonnade to the Chinese Victims of 1871
Los Angeles, CA
Formation Association, with collaborators Anna Sew Hoy and Zhu Jia, were announced as finalists for a new memorial in Los Angeles dedicated to the victims of the 1871 Chinese Massacre. 176 submissions were received, with Formation Association’s collaborative project entitled ‘The Memorial Colonnade for the Chinese Victims of 1871’ selected as among the six finalists.

Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
Concept Design enhancements begin on a new gallery space for LACE in Hollywood. Founded in 1978, LACE is the longest-running incubator for contemporary artists and curators in LA.

Phillips auction house, West Hollywood, CA
Announcement of new Phillips Los Angeles location released by ARTnews and other outlets, accompanied by Formation Association’s architectural renderings.

CalArts, Santa Clarita, CA
Formation Association begins work with CalArts on multi-departmental interior improvements across several phases.

Cayetano Ferrer, West Hollywood, CA:
Formation Association begins consulting work with Los Angeles artist Cayetano Ferrer on his project to repurpose pieces of the demolished LACMA buildings for a WeHo park.

Art Shed, Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles, CA:
Inaugural Artist Talk at the Art Shed, Formation Association’s project for artist and gallerist Kent Young, featuring work by artist and photographer, Shelby Roberts. Participants included: Kent M Young, Miles Coolidge, Janna Ireland, and John K Chan.

Phillips auction house, West Hollywood, CA:
Construction begins on Formation Association’s project for the Phillips auction showroom with projected completion to be in mid-2022.

Phillips auction house, West Hollywood, CA:
Building and Safety approval obtained from the City of West Hollywood for Phillips Auction House, following city planning approvals obtained previously in 2020.

John K Chan joins Board of Directors of Barnsdall Art Park Foundation:
Formation Association's Principal and Design Director joins the Board of Directors of Barnsdall Art Park Foundation, which encompasses among its programs; the Hollyhock House, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Barnsdall Art Center and the Junior Arts Center. Located at the crest of Olive Hill overlooking the city of Los Angeles, Barnsdall Art Park emerged from the cultural contributions and donation of Aline Barnsdall, who gifted the Park and its Frank Lloyd Wright design structures to the City of Los Angeles in 1927.

Gogosha Optique Wins Vision Expo’s 2020 Award:
Designed by Formation Association, the Gogosha Optique wins the highest award for retail space by a committee of the optical industry’s top leaders.

Formation Association pivots to remote office environment:
In response to the emerging COVI-19 epidemic, Formation Association has quickly pivoted to a remote office environment distributed across metropolitan Los Angeles. Project teams continue to be operative as we service clients and manage on-going projects.

Formation Association moves to Chinatown:
Formation Association moves to its new Chinatown office, situated in the eclectic Mandarin Plaza at 970 N. Broadway, originally designed by the Chinese-American architect Hai C. Tan in 1969.

Phillips auction house, West Hollywood, CA:
Full architectural services begins for the new Phillips gallery and offices situated adjacent to the Santa Monica Boulevard thoroughfare in West Hollywood, CA.

11/17/18 - 06/02/19
The Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington in Seattle, WA: The Library of Black Lies, Formation Association's collaboration with artist Edgar Arceneaux, is exhibited at The Henry Gallery, the art museum of the University of Washington in Seattle, positing that one cannot be trapped in the passive acceptance of history, rather must make infinite new books, systems, and proposals for future meanings.

Fuller Theological Seminary Campus Win, Pomona, CA: Formation Association wins commission via competitive RFQ for the design of Fuller Theological Seminary’s new campus in Pomona, CA, with executive architect partner CannonDesign. A collaborative consultant team, including EPTDESIGN landscape architects, will be led by Formation Association with CannonDesign to re-imagine the future of the theological seminary. The campus will be situated in an underserved urban-infill area north of Pomona’s downtown and civic core, and act as an aperture into the larger Fuller community both in Pomona and worldwide.

Formation Association wins lead design architect commission for the new campus of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pomona. Incorporating master planning and programming phases, the project will be designed by the collaborative team 'Formation Association with CannonDesign'.

Phillips auction house, Los Angeles, CA:
Site selection and pre-design consulting begins on a new Los Angeles gallery and office for Phillips, the esteemed British auction house originally founded in London in 1796.

Fuller Theological Seminary Campus RFQ, Pomona, CA: Formation Association invited via RFQ for the design of Fuller Theological Seminary’s new campus in Pomona, CA.

Formation Association’s Design Director, John K Chan is quoted in Curbed LA offering speculative suggestions regarding the 2028 Summer Olympics in LA. “Experiences that allow athletes, visitors, and Angelenos alike to move through a Los Angeles that is experientially more communal, accessible, and granular via biking, scootering, and emerging modes of transportation not only bring visitors to the games, but bring them through the neighborhoods of our transforming city.” — John Chan, Formation Association

1555 Sunset Blvd opening, Los Angeles, CA. Mitch O’Farrel, Los Angeles CD13 Councilmember, inaugurates the opening of Formation Association’s project 1555 Sunset Blvd, a 6,700 s.f. adaptive reuse commercial community.

Fuller Theological Seminary consulting, Pasadena, CA:
Formation Association begins pre-design consulting work with Fuller Theological Seminary, a renowned multi denominational higher education institution.

18/01/17 - 03/25/18
The Library of Black Lies, Formation Association’s collaboration with artist Edgar Arceneaux, is exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. A library and a labyrinth, the project is a meditation on African American identity in which people of any culture can find themselves at the center.

Flora-Gato graces Dezeen
Flora-Gato, Formation Association’s cat shelter in the form of a biomorphic trellis, graces the cover of Dezeen.

John K Chan, Formation Association’s Design Director, moderates discussion panel for the opening of ‘Define Gravity’, curated by John Silvis at the Ahmanson Gallery. The conversation unpacked the essential nature of sculpture to both ‘define’ and also ‘defy’ gravity, with panelists Mary Leigh Cherry, Nathan Mabry, Lynn Aldrich, Hermione Allsopp, and Meg Lipke.

Formation Association collaborates with LA artists Edgar Arceneaux and Nery Gabriel Lemus in presenting multi-generational participatory art projects Collapse Construction, aMazing Corrugation, and Sheer Reflection at the OCMA Family Day, in conjunction with the 2017 California-Pacific Triennial, curated by OCMA Senior Curator Cassandra Coblentz

The Library of Black Lies, Formation Association’s collaboration with artist Edgar Arceneaux, is exhibited at the Main Museum. A library and a labyrinth, the project is a meditation on African American identity in which people of any culture can find themselves at the center.

Formation Association’s Flora-Gato exhibited at the Herman Miller Showroom, a contribution to the non-profit Architects for Animals event, 'Giving Shelter 2017’ Flora-Gato is a biomorphic trellis structure which serves both as cat shelter and landscape seating for volunteers. A collaboration between Formation Association, Terremoto Landscape, and Arktura.

10/14/17 - 01/08/17
The Library of Black Lies, Formation Association’s collaboration with artist Edgar Arceneaux, is exhibited at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. A library and a labyrinth, the project is a meditation on African American identity in which people of any culture can find themselves at the center.




Formation Association practices architecture as a cultural project transforming our expectations of the built environment.

Endeavoring to discover multivalent outcomes for projects of every scale, Formation Association pursues the studied synthesis of the social and the material and their ongoing interplay across architecture, urbanism, and broader ecologies.

Formation Association’s projects emerge from a collaborative meditation with our clients and partners to discover and materialize shared practical and psychological agendas resonating with site and social contexts. Our creative work is complemented by both the talent and technique of our staff, who have a broad range of experience and have produced a roster of award-winning work. Our knowledgeable team excavates history, engages the contemporary moment, and collaborates with clients, communities, and interdisciplinary partners to promote a variegated design approach.

Our clients include exceptional organizations and institutions including: Phillips auction house, Redcar Properties, California Institute of the Arts, The Underground Museum, Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and Fuller Theological Seminary.

Formation Association has won a Progressive Architecture Award from Architect magazine and an AIAPF Honor Award. Our firm’s projects have been published by Architect Magazine and art-world
publications, and featured in online design journals such as Dezeen, Designboom, Fast Company, and Divisare.

The firm’s collaborations with artists have been presented in museums and cultural institutions both locally and internationally, from the Orange County Museum of Art and the Main Museum, to the MIT List Visual Art Center and the Mona Bismarck American Center for Art and Culture in Paris.


John K Chan, AIA, LEED AP, is an architect and founder of Formation Association, an award-winning architecture and environmental design collaborative based in Los Angeles. After graduating from the USC School of Architecture, he worked in noteworthy Los Angeles offices building extensive experience in large scale projects across the United States and abroad, including public buildings, universities, and master planning.

As the Design Director of Formation Association, John has worked with creative clients on award-winning residential, commercial, and cultural projects. His collaborations and ongoing work with LA artists have been presented both locally and internationally via cultural channels and

institutions such as the Main Museum, the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, the Hammer Museum, MIT List Visual Arts Center, and the Mona Bismarck American Center for Art and Culture in Paris.

John is a member of the Centennial Council for the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation, whose site includes the Hollyhock House and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.

Grace U Oh is the Managing Director of Formation Association, overseeing operational arenas of the practice and growth of the firm.

Her role is informed by her production experience in entertainment for MTV, VH1, the Disney Channel, and independent films, and as a keynote speaker for entertainment marketing events both globally and locally.

Grace is an advocate for intersectional contemporary art across various cultural organizations in Los Angeles. As a board member of Fellows of Contemporary Art, Grace works to highlight the ever growing community of emerging artists in Los Angeles. Additionally, she serves on the boards of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), a historically critical nonprofit in the LA art community, and GYOPO, a collective of diasporic Korean cultural producers and arts professionals.

Environmental Design Collaborative


Environmental design encompasses a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to the built and natural environments. The term 'environmental design' has pendulated in meaning over the last few decades between the anthropocentric concerns of immersive user experience and the ecological concerns of sustaining the biosphere. Formation Association pursues the hybridity between these two poles and, while our projects fluctuate in intensity between these aims¬, a more affecting convergence is highly sought.


The collaborative framework pursued by Formation Association promotes an array of design approaches informed by the input of its collaborators, building a robust environment of project-specific dialogue and new utilities through chemistry. As such, we are averse to the lone auteur voice, promoting instead, a variegated ecology of design methods, proclivities, and abilities. We recognize that one size does not fit all and build our teams to address the unique project scenarios of our clients.


Beyond the empirical metrics of sustainable ratings systems, environmental design is a comprehensive world-view and vehicle for communication, alternately emphasizing and nuancing how design impacts ecologies both immediate and distant. Importantly, the etymological origins of the term 'ecology' are from the greek word oikos (οἶκος), meaning house, or family, encompassing both structural and social frameworks. Formation Association endeavors to unite these meanings in both the built environment and the natural environment, of which we are inescapably a part.


Past and Present Collaborators:

Alyse Sedlock
Anali Gharakani
Andrea Giordano
Bung Ko
Buro Happold
Colin Jacobs
Corum + Guerrette
Daniel Callis
David C. Koch
David Gonzalez

Enrique Bravo
Edgar Arceneaux
Grace U. Oh
Greg Otto
Jay Lee
Jeff Roberts
Jesse Hurtado
John K. Chan
Mariti Sunga
Max Kuo
Maximiliano Frixione
Michael Zahn

Michelle Zai
Nery Gabriel Lery
Nick Miuccio
Olga Oreshkina
Oscar Chun
Philip Ra
Rubbish Interiors
Steve Roden
Timothy Sola
Wil Carson
Wonne Ickx


Fuller Theological Seminary Campus

Fuller Theological Seminary will be unified within an innovative new campus located in the City of Pomona, allowing Fuller to achieve a degree of interdepartmental interaction and collaboration not feasible in its existing Pasadena facilities.

The new campus will be located immediately north of the growing Downtown Pomona area in proximity to public transportation and recently completed housing developments. Situated in an urban infill site, the planned facility will integrate within the existing urban context and create various new nodes of social activity for both Fuller and the local community.

Organized in three primary departments, theology, psychology, and intercultural studies, the entire program of the seminary will occupy new classroom, assembly, workplace, and support spaces along with new facilities for alumni and current learners alike. Importantly, Fuller’s renown research library will be housed in close proximity to collaborative learning spaces and new facilities for PhD students. Leveraging Fuller’s growing embrace of educational technology, the new facilities will serve as a ‘smart’ new home for residential students and a virtual backdrop for the larger Fuller learning community across the globe.

Fuller’s new campus is in early planning stages and designed by a collaborative architectural team lead by Formation Association with CannonDesign.

UCSD Price Center Expansion


As Senior Design Leader, John K Chan's contribution to the UCSD Price Center Expansion ranged from early programming in coordination with UCSD's Master Plan and University Center Design Guidelines, to design and documentation. A major element of the UCSD capital program, the expansion project resolved issues of significant complexity on the quickly urbanizing campus and was recognized with multiple design awards, from organizations including AIA Los Angeles, AIA San Diego, and the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.

Situated in the campus center of the University of California at San Diego, the original plan for the Price Center, was developed with an “introverted” configuration - a central courtyard bordered on three sides by all of the building’s program elements facing inward. Typical of retail planning strategy in the 1980's, this inward focus established a sense of place and a hub for dining, socializing, and events. When the university’s growth and urban densification necessitated an expansion of the Price Center, the conceptual solution was to create an “extroverted” and permeable urban condition in which the remodel and addition offers many points of entry, enriching both the interior and street experience.

The 172,000 sf Price Center Expansion significantly increases program, circulatory access points, and diversifies the range of interior and exterior social spaces. Notably, the expansion's perimeter negotiates its proximity with the UCSD Eucalyptus Grove, an important ecological component to the campus. In support of the university’s goal of achieving the equivalent of a LEED Silver rating, the project incorporates an array of sustainable design elements and systems.

Project experience of John K Chan, AIA, LEED AP as Senior Design Leader at CannonDesign.

UCSB Intercollegiate Athletic Center


Among John K Chan's earlier projects as Senior Designer, the UCSB Intercollegiate Athletics Building involved John's leadership from Schematic Design through to Construction Administration. Utilizing locally made Ceramic Masonry Units (CMU) critical to UCSB's architectural character, the Intercollegiate Athletics Building was recognized with a Concrete Masonry Design Award by the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada.

The new Intercollegiate Athletics Building on the UCSB campus consolidates the Athletic Department’s programmatic and symbolic presence in one building.

Encompassing offices for both administrative and coaching staffs, student-life space, weight training, and therapeutic. Encompassing offices for both administrative and coaching staffs, student-life space, weight training, and therapeutic training facilities; the new 43,000 sf facility is situated adjacent to a future pedestrian thoroughfare connecting the campus’s north and south halves and creating a symbolic gateway between academic and athletic facilities. A palm-tree alée visually strengthens the connection between the IAB and the existing Robertson Gymnasium by creating a processional entry to the athletic fields and facilities beyond.

A sequence of courtyards and patios reflects Santa

Barbara’s regional vernacular and climate. Scale, color, and materials complement the existing gymnasium while offering a new and dynamic interpretation of the existing A sequence of courtyards and patios reflects Santa Barbara’s regional vernacular and climate. Scale, color, and materials complement the existing gymnasium while offering a new and dynamic interpretation of the existing architectural language, continuing the long, floating lines of the gym’s horizontal roof with a similar floating motif energized by new architectural activity. Congruent with the spirit of sport, the relationship between old and new is both competitive and respectful.

Project experience of John K Chan, AIA, LEED AP as Senior Design Leader at CannonDesign

Residential Treatment Center


As Senior Designer of the Maricopa County Residential Treatment Center , John K Chan led the design of this unique project, demonstrating the restorative potential that architecture can effect for displaced youth. The project was nationally recognized with a Citation Award from the American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Justice, the highest award in its category for the national Justice Facilities Review.

Located in the arid landscape of Phoenix, Arizona, the 32,400-square-foot, 48-bed residential treatment center represents an emerging concept in expanding alternatives

to detention and promoting public safety in a restorative environment. Affording a “transportive” refuge for displaced youth, the center hosts Juveniles who have severe drug dependency problems and assists in the transition to after care. Constructed of standard wood framing, the residential-scaled campus is divided into three separate structures composed around a landscaped courtyard. Arid landscaping, sculptural ground swells frame areas of social interaction for both large groups and smaller conversations. The two residential buildings each contain three modules of eight sleeping rooms with common 'living' rooms in each building, further encouraging a social dynamic. Each building has an outdoor recreation area and a “front porch” for parental

visits. Across the courtyard, a third building contains the public entrance lobby, classrooms, administrative areas, and a smaller private courtyard for events. Security at the center is provided through direct supervision and low staff-to-juvenile ratios, contributing to a safe environment focused on restoration and education.

Project experience of John K Chan, AIA, LEED AP as Senior Design Leader at CannonDesign




Cat-à-Tête is a feral cat shelter which takes the form of a tête-à-tête, an S-shaped seat allowing face-to-face conversation. The structure provides a social framework for cats and humans alike.

The entire structure of Cat-à-Tête employs a sustainable sheet material comprised largely of recycled plastic bottles - and is itself completely recyclable. Despite its constitution, the material is soft and possesses tactile properties similar to felt.

Cats enter this soft structure through various openings, escaping their would-be predators. The protected interior is defined by laminated serial ribs and spatially organized

in a continuous figure 8 circuit offering areas of rest, play, and observation. Alternating bays of material and open slots create plays of patterned light across the structure's textured surfaces.

The binary pattern of Cat-à-Tête's serial construction points to the binary relationship between feral cats and humans - While the two may not directly cross-paths when visiting Cat-à-Tête, the structure's form suggests an on-going inter-species dialogue through repeated binary alternation.

Exhibited at the Herman Miller showroom in Los Angeles, Cat-à-Tête is Formation Association’s 2016 contribution

to ‘Architects for Animals: Giving Shelter’, an exhibit of architect-designed feral cat shelters.

In collaboration with Arktura and BuroHappold.


Edgewater Residence

The Edgewater Residence is an addition and remodel in the eclectic Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Despite its small scale, the 300 square foot addition functionally reorganizes the existing residence and rethinks relationships between the old and new, inside and outside, urban and domestic.

Enveloped in white, recyclable metal, the newly constructed addition combines a kitchen and family room, which are spatially joined by a sculptural butcher block band. Both rooms generously open out to side yard and backyard via large sliding doors, leveraging the temperate Southern Californian climate. Rising above the family room, a clerestory window furthers passive solar design

agendas and facilitates natural ventilation. Its form looms over the existing ridge, contributing to the visual juxtaposition of the old and new.

At the side yard, a projected canopy peels away from the roof profile of the existing house, offering a welcome gesture to visitors. Its soffit is composed of transparent polycarbonate panels, allowing visibility into the wood framed construction beyond. The wood is painted silver, a reference to Richard Neutra's use of silver paint as an alternative to the scarce metals of his time. Seeking to create a dialectic between the urban and domestic, the addition employs formal references to nearby buildings and local urban character both important and


Richard Neutra’s VDL research house, the sloping embankments of Silver Lake Reservoir, an auto body shop, and a neighborhood Googie restaurant. This associative array of local urban phenomena inflect the formal and functional agendas of the new addition, acting as an experiential record of everyday urbanism and expanding the dialogue of the addition beyond private domesticity.

Calaveras Residence

Situated in the foothills of Altadena. this residential addition and remodel is nestled under the canopy of a mature Cedrus deadora (himilayan cedar). The addition architecturally negotiates existing site confluences - tree, old house, a detached garage. In concert with the 600 s.f. addition, the existing 1,300 s.f. plan is reorganized to yield a public sequence from front yard to back yard.

The addition's intimate proximity to the Himalayan cedar is made possible by mapping the tree's root system and coordinating a responsive structural strategy. In so doing, phenomenological and environmental agendas are

achieved - the addition effectively shares the same space and microclimate effects of the tree canopy. Through large operable doors and clerestory windows, the cedar's presence is prevalent - its scent permeates inside and out.

Adding a new family room and master bedroom, the new cedar-clad addition reframes the existing house and the garage. At the back elevation, a sectional shift delineates parallel columns of public and private rooms. The master bedroom projects out with a balcony, while the family room steps down to the back yard, initiating a sequence of steps and terraces toward the landscaping beyond.

Ivanhoe Vista House

The Ivanhoe Vista House expands an existing residence, affording new views of Silver Lake’s Ivanhoe Reservoir while undergoing volumetric shifts to address site conditions both evident and forgotten.

Emerging from variegated backyard foliage, a prominent rectangular elevation rises over the street and toward vistas of Silver Lake’s Ivanhoe Reservoir, subsequently tapering down to a series of gabled profiles navigating between a distinctive olive tree, moderate topography, and the existing house. Along this course, the addition alternates between formal positions to negotiate the existing site conditions and summons a historical echo, its gabled profile alludes to a forgotten and little-known

wood-clad structure once covering the entire Ivanhoe Reservoir circa 1930.

The upper mass of this two story addition situates a new primary bedroom suite and living space atop a plinth of textured concrete below, housing an art studio garage and a small accessory dwelling unit. During the Covid-19 pandemic, both top and bottom of the addition handily hosted live, work, and school pods in a small but functional micro-village, positioning the family to more meaningfully grow and age in place.

In plan, the perimeter walls angle and jog to reconcile the existing house, the olive tree, and the triangular site,

providing the living and dining areas a sequence of staggered windows framing the surrounding yard and bringing the olive tree into intimate relief throughout the day.

The sun’s arc across the tree projects alternating shadows filtered through the addition’s generous windows, which in turn offer alternating vistas to the tree, the yard, the lake and the echo of its forgotten wood-clad cover.

Photography by Stephen Schauer unless otherwise noted. Additional full color photography pending release.

Council_St Art Shed

The Council_St Art Shed is a shingle-clad art studio situated in a domestic garden.

The studio’s faceted form is wrapped in shingles, like the roofs and siding of so many neighboring vernacular structures, in relation to which the Art Shed camouflages into or differentiates against – presenting a figure as easily overlooked as potentially arresting.

Streetside, the Art Shed’s elevation is a practice in deadpan, giving away little to signify its use. Comprised of hardware store parts, the garage door is cloaked in shingles and detailed to all but disappear, making its opening a surprise to passers-by.

From the primary residence, the Art Shed’s elevation is equally impassive. No door is immediately visible. Rather, the entry is rotated perpendicular to the house and visible only on approach, creating a psychological distance for the short commute between work and home.

An entry soffit extends an overhead plane from outside to inside which immediately rises toward large north-facing windows sustaining an abundance of painterly light. The rising volume proliferates taller wallspace, accommodating the production of larger-scaled work.

Within its predominantly working-class Historic Filipinotown neighborhood, the Art Shed presents an architectural dialectic, a lo-fi workaday shed sheathed in a post-vernacular cloak. The Art Shed activates backyard and neighborhood as a scenographic backdrop, collapsing the distance between stage and stealth, appropriately shedding both water and typological signifiers alike.


Atwater Canyon

Atwater Canyon is an adaptive reuse project which introduces a paseo through an existing unreinforced masonry building, situated in the Atwater Village commercial corridor on Glendale Boulevard.

Forming a new destination for eateries and boutiques, the Atwater Canyon paseo more than doubles the existing commercial ‘frontage’ of the building while creating a new thoroughfare between the bustling sidewalk and rear public parking lot in this mid-block urban condition.

The elevation of the existing building is simplified, but largely kept intact with - old tilework flanking its entryways. However, the glazing line is dramatically pushed back to create deeper covered openings with shaded spaces extending deep into and through the building, forming the paseo’s course. Large arched openings frame new storefront areas, recalling semicircular eyelets perforating the existing elevation’s parapets. Roughly raked plaster walls line the new paseo walkway, expressing the naturally uneven handiwork of its plaster workers and producing humanizing textural effects.

Adjacent to the parking lot at the rear of the project, a porous open-air washroom flanks the entry to the main passageway, affording abundant visibility, natural ventilation, and a dose of aspiration to a humble program element, transformed by recent pandemic experiences.

Throughout the development, skylights and roof openings filter light and breezes into the walkway. At its center, the paseo is punctuated by a dramatic open-air courtyard whose opening exposes a battered brick wall and demonstrates the antiquated assembly of the existing roof, sculpturally interstitched by new perimeter framing - an architectural detail negotiating the building’s past and its newly evolving present.

Phillips Los Angeles

The new Phillips showroom in Los Angeles situates this leading contemporary auction house on an iconic stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, a historical nexus of art and design, imparting to this renown international auctioneer a distinctly Southern Californian lean.

With remodeling work currently underway, an existing eclectic structure of roughly 3,000 square feet anchors a corner of the lively commercial boulevard and adjacent residentially scaled local streets, nestled under a canopy of trees. Straddling these divergent LA street contexts, the showroom’s architectural disposition oscillates between the automobile-orientation of Streamline Moderne

and the textural nuances of pedestrian building materials: Plaster and wood framing, the stuff of Southern California architecture.

Along the sidewalk, the elevational treatment works to both provide screening from the busy vehicular traffic nearby and create discrete intimate views at the pedestrian scale, utilizing deep recesses to frame window openings and register volume and shadow with the vernacular materials at hand. At the street corner, the glazed storefront is set under a curved canopy which acts as both marquee and oculus.

The interior is extensively remodeled, delivering a range of

varied and light-filled spaces for flexible offices, a diverse range of galleries and showrooms, leading out into a covered exterior patio for outdoor installations and more casual programming.

The gallery spaces vary in height and volume resulting from the nature of idiosyncratic existing conditions. Architectural clues of the previous structure are evidenced nostalgically alongside new exhibited work via exposed wood bracing and interstitial spaces expanded with mirrored inserts. As such, the Phillips Los Angeles showroom embraces the old and the new in a choreographed confluence of both within an unmistakably Southern Californian context.

Gogosha Optique

Gogosha Optique photographed by Stephen Schauer
Gogosha Optique photographed by Stephen Schauer

The Gogosha Optique is a concept eyewear boutique design as a landscape of architectural interventions narrating Julia Gogosha’s unique curatorial fitting process.

Situated in an adaptive reuse building in Echo Park, Gogosha Optique’s compact 915 s.f. retail storefront opens onto a communal porch off Sunset Boulevard. Inside, a series of functional sculptures inspired by art and design articulates the client’s eyewear program: from browsing and fitting to technical lab work.

Along a primary browsing wall, sunglasses are suspended among a compositional latticework of delicate wooden planks, backlit with LED lighting, invoking the minimalist sculptural experiments of Sol LeWitt.

Two spectacle storage units activate the showroom floor, their stepped forms, double as bleachers, inviting visitors to climb, lounge, and experience group eyeglass fittings as a spectator sport. Clad in rubber athletic flooring speckled with color, the storage units are interactive, resilient as seating and housing parallelogram shaped flat-file drawers, revealing rows of organized eyewear when pulled out.

Accompanying a row of interior windows, narrow fitting stations arrange an intimate face-to-face experience between visitors and staff. The fitting stations are composed as a folding assemblage of wood slats recalling practical wood crates as well as preliminary furniture experiments of the early modernist icon Gerrit Rietveld.
Overhead, a raked acoustical soffit rises above like a looming cloud, filtering natural light from above. Consisting of stock pegboard typically used for retail display in more transactional settings, the perforated soffit modulates both sound and light while announcing aspirations beyond the landscape of conventional retail experiences.


Library of Black Lies

This art and architecture installation is both a library and
a labyrinth, presenting a meditation on African-American
identity in which people of any race or culture can find
themselves at the center.

The cabin-like form is both crystalline and porous. It’s interior can be detected through the narrow slits and knotholes of its rough wood siding. Upon entry, a geometrically skewed hallway begins to distort perspective and scale. Inside, the library erupts into a sensorial landscape of effects, induced by perspective, scale-shifts, and reflective materials.

Library walls for the labyrinth’s shelving, occupied by
reading material ranging from African-American subjects
to contemporary art. The books exist in a variety of
unreadable states: whether encrusted with sugar crystals
or wrapped in garbage bags, suggesting that alternative
forms of literacy are required to make this cabinet of
curiosities legible. The environment oscillates between
fun house effects and horror film aesthetics, a precipitous
adjacency much like the conversation of race in America.

The panelized shell is designed for transport and
comprised of wood framing more closely associated with
painter’s stretcher bars than framing construction. In this
conceptual assembly, each wall forms a triptych.

This art project converging culture and race identity has
been presented at notable institutions such as The Mona
Bismarck American Center in Paris, the MIT LIST Visual
Arts Center in Cambridge, the Main Museum in Los
Angeles, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San

© 2024 formation association