ZELLNER and Company

ZELLNER and Company

Los Angeles, CA


City on a City

AIA | Next LA 2016 Citation Award

This project anticipates re-purposing five masonry, wood, concrete and metal buildings in the Los Angeles Arts District into a mixed-use commercial project with a range of new uses focused on art, food, creative work, leisure, recreation and pop-up retail. The scheme also explores creating two significant additions to the urban site: a flying “horizontal skyscraper” balanced on two legs and an adjacent parking structure clad in a living green skin.

Multiple catalytic programs will be distributed in the re-purposed existing buildings: arts and performance activity zones, creative workspace incubator areas, alternative housing prototypes including a hostel or micro hotel, and even a sustainable urban restaurant attached to hydroponic and aquaponic farming.  The architectural qualities of the reconfigured buildings are intended to be largely undisturbed by the project while the two new elements are intended to extend and complement the conditions on the ground. The novel new urban building typologies are achieved using a new fully automated parking structure “battery” and an infrastructure-scaled “truss-tube” allows the horizontal bar building to levitate.

The new proposed architectural interventions are intended to highlight and frame the historic construction of the existing warehouse buildings while providing a new form of LA urbanism: a City on the City, an elevated urban sky datum that suggests a contemporary model for re-inhabiting the city by flying over it: reflecting the legacy of the Arts District as it was originally defined in the 1970s and 1980s by artists working in a reconfigured industrial landscape. 

The scheme aims to create an architecture that hovers between new and old, ground and sky while proposing an alternative model for densifying Los Angeles.    


Firm Principals:  Peter Zellner, Paul Naecker

Project Team:
Franco Chen
Yining Deng
Alex Gomez
Yessenia Juarez
Jack Oliva-Rendler
Yuzaburo Tanaka

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US
Firm Role: Architect