Los Angeles, CA
Wilshire Boulevard Temple
MATT, alongside international architect Rem Koolhaas and LA-based Gruen Associates, undertook this visually daring new addition to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple complex along one of LA’s main thoroughfares. Its dedicated future purpose as an event space for the local congregation and for the larger community benefits from a bold design that will surely be a centerpiece of conversation for those gathered.
This geometrically complex structure houses three occupied levels, two mezzanines, an indoor atrium, a roof garden and a double-height event space. The exterior envelope is askew, with one vertical and three sloping walls, which demands unique structural elements and high-end interior finishes with tight construction tolerances. Custom-engineered framing attachments allowed for inter-story drift and minimized visual impacts, to compensate for the movement in the building that arose from double-height elevations.
The façade’s elaborate rain screen system features hexagonal panels, windows, flashing and sheeting. The team investigated the most efficient waterproofing options for a non-vertical structure.
The team dedicated extensive preconstruction analysis to security logistics for the neighboring, occupied school and synagogue, such as live scanning, badges and creating a separate entrance and exit for construction personnel. To compensate for the site stretching to the property line and attendant sequencing constraints (e.g. not being able to put a crane on Wilshire Boulevard), the team came up with creative solutions for timing trades like steel, which required an elaborate and large setup to execute.