Khristeen Decastro

Khristeen Decastro

Los Angeles, CA, US


North Hollywood Cinematheque

“To transcend film through space”, is the architectonic philosophy behind the The North Hollywood Cinematheque.

Team: Khristeen Decastro, Alma Juaregui, Phillip Mandery

Professor: Nick Roberts

Woodbury University

This project called each student to create a “movie” instead of traditional renderings to explain the movie. Extensive consideration of structure, circulation and natural systems is developed concerning both specific and large-scale issues. Some of the primary issues surrounding the cinematheque include its immediate cultural and social climate under which it was designed, the specific programs it had to accommodate and structurally combining all these details into one comprehensive provocative building. More importantly, this project addresses the greater environmental and experiential issues of the cinematheque, in that it must accommodate a certain level of ambiguity while also providing a comprehensive system that work seamlessly together, this being the primary concern lying behind the success of the North Hollywood Cinematheque.

The intentions for the NOHO Cinematheque are the product of its proximity to the NOHO Metro station and the celebration of film through space. The Cinematheque was designed as an iconic hub to be used by film goers, film industry labels and the everyday people. Most typical theaters do not have the accommodations or architectonic intricacy that is truly necessary to enjoy film; because the theater is set to truly memorialize a specific genre of film every few weeks or months, this project was compelled to generate an integrated fully functioning Cinematheque that creates a new standard for experiencing film.

Height is important for this project to allow it to be seen as far as the 170 freeway. The main organizational idea was to elevate the program spaces from the ground and sit them on a pedestal which was filled with commercial and public space to attract visitors into the plaza. The cinematheque is an important public mark for the arts district of North Hollywood. Playing with the notion of how it connects and detaches itself from the viewer, the concept of ambiguity is used within the design by using layers of materials and spaces to create visual and spatial ambiguity. The building is broken into three larger volumes and connected with “portal” spaces to continue the idea of transgression.


Founded on the crossway between Lankershim Boulevard and Chandler Boulevard intersection, North Hollywood Red Metro Line and Orange Line, the Cinematheque will become the center of the NoHo Arts district. Because it is founded on the major intersection of transportation, the Red and Orange Line is pulled onto the site with under ground entrances through the parking garages below.

The idea transcend the visitors from the contexts around them into a fluid transition into the site. This idea is focused within the design of the plaza and the circulation within the theater.



Circulation also defines the level of ambiguity within the project by allowing all the surfaces of the program spaces to be ramped together. Spaces are blurred together as inhabitants experience the transition between exterior and interior and from program space to program space. Easy accessibility from ground level to the highest level is then achieved. The ground floor plaza begins to ramp from the sidewalk creating a smooth transition from the surroundings of the site up into the building. Immediately one finds themselves in a diverse atmosphere that is unlike the surrounding that they entered from a few moments before.

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Status: School Project
Location: North Hollywood, CA, US