May 20, 2019

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Rem Koolhaas Firm Reveals Design for Los Angeles Temple Expansion

Rem Koolhaas Firm Reveals Design for Los Angeles Temple Expansion
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A rendering of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s campus with the 1929 temple, left, and the design for the Audrey Irmas Pavilion.


Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) unveiled on Friday the initial design for the Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s community event space, the Audrey Irmas Pavilion.

Named after the cultural center’s lead donor, whose $30 million dollar pledge in 2015 began the capital campaign, the inclined five-story building will slope away from the 1929 historic Byzantine-revival synagogue, symbolizing deference to Los Angeles’s oldest Jewish congregation.

The pavilion will house a ground-level banquet hall, meeting and conference rooms and a rooftop garden, while myriad angled windows will filter light throughout the space and offer vantage points from each room.

“In a city so large and so diverse, we need community, and we need inspiring, welcoming places,” Rabbi Steve Leder said in a statement. “Los Angeles deserves a modern masterpiece that brings people together in the heart of the city’s most diverse neighborhood.”

A committee selected Mr. Koolhaas and his firm OMA in an architectural competition to design the 55,000-square-foot building, which will host events for the congregation as well as Koreatown’s greater community.

The Audrey Irmas Pavilion is OMA’s first commission from a religious institution, and its first cultural project in California. The building will break ground later this year and is to open in 2020. More than 70 percent of the estimated budget of $75 million has been raised.

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