Los Angeles, California, USA
Designed by Hagy Belzberg and his team at the Los Angeles-based office of Belzberg Architects, the West Olympic Science Hub is a new 276,000-sqft transit-oriented development that prioritizes community engagement and access while re-defining the design potential of life science laboratories.
The project won a recent 2020 American Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Belzberg’s scheme for this multi-faceted program includes research facilities, retail, live/work lofts, commercial offices, community space, and below-grade automated parking, and focuses on providing the surrounding neighborhood with significant open-air public/private flex-space equipped to host concerts, weddings, trade fairs, farmer’s markets, and community gardens among other things.
This broad range of uses will ensure the project is a lively, inclusive addition to the area.
Located in West Los Angeles, the project acts as an attractor, drawing Metro riders from the nearby Expo Line station and locals alike.
The design features a series of amorphously carved voids that dramatically slice across floors at oblique angles.
The main cavity, which starts at the street corner, invites pedestrians up through the generously landscaped outdoor community space and leads to a publicly accessible observatory deck with views to downtown Los Angeles.
This porous void also optimizes daylighting and views for users while increasing biophilia.
Using heavy timber as a secondary support structure, a double skin will be energy efficient, reducing solar heat gain from the polycarbonate façade system.
The cantilevering, curved form, which is taller to the south where the building is more visible, breaks up the typical curtain wall facade and is a dynamic addition to the neighborhood.
Architects: Belzberg Architects
Client: Gillis Family Partnership