Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine
Aug 062012
Samuel Freeman Gallery Goes GREEN With New La Cienega Blvd. Facility

Samuel Freeman Gallery Goes GREEN With New La Cienega Blvd. Facility

Samuel Freeman is pleased to announce the completion of its new location at 2639 South La Cienega Blvd., in the heart of the Culver City contemporary art district of Los Angeles.  The gallery will open its doors to the public with a solo exhibition by Masami Teraoka on Saturday, September 8, 2012.

Designed by Warren Wagner and W3 Architects, the new renovation is a complete re-purposing of an existing single-story office building with an outdoor atrium at its center. As the first “green” art gallery building in Los Angeles, the new design combines architecturally bold and programmatically flexible exhibition spaces with innovative natural lighting strategies, passive air circulation, and environmentally sustainable materials and systems, while providing a welcoming escape from the immediate urban environment.

At the center of the building’s philosophy is Wagner’s design of architectural “light scoops” which generously distribute diffused natural light throughout the main exhibition spaces from both northern and southern exposures.   These apertures also serve as passive thermal chimneys, continually removing hot air while drawing fresh air from the central courtyard, even on the warmest days of a Southern California summer.

Also integral to the Samuel Freeman space is its central courtyard, a previously existing feature that has now been rendered transparent via floor-to-ceiling plate-glass doors that slide away to provide a seamless indoor-outdoor transition.  All public areas access this courtyard, creating an open-air retreat for both visitors and staff, shielded from the noise of the boulevard yet set amongst the aesthetic and functional context of a contemporary art gallery.  The inward focus of the building creates an atmosphere unique within the Los Angeles contemporary art community.

The new facility was designed for a diversity of curatorial possibilities, boasting great spatial variation and flow amongst the main exhibition galleries and the atrium-facing exhibition walls leading into them, along with ample wall and floor space for both monumental and intimately scaled works.  Gallery ceiling heights of 15, 13 and 9 feet open up further possibilities for the placement of works in highly dynamic relationships to the viewing experience.

In addition to its 2500+ square feet of exhibition space, the facility includes a private viewing room with courtyard exposure and adjacent kitchen; climate-controlled archival storage; a dedicated conservation shop; reception area and offices; two ADA-compliant restrooms and 9-car parking with a private rear entrance.

Architect: W3 Architects; General Contractor: Oliver Garrett Construction

Environmental Design Notes: -Continuous daylighting in all public and private spaces at all hours of the day -Thermal chimneys provide continuous passive ventilation with active modulation through custom aluminum louvers by Louvertec -Super-high efficiency, multi-zone, in-floor radiant heating throughout facility -Solar-electric ready, prewired for phased installation -Sustainably harvested white oak flooring with engineered wood base -Wood finishing by Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey sealer -Recycled denim insulation from Ultratouch in exhibition spaces -J1772 Level 2 electric car charging station on-site -Low-water xeriscape by FormLA landscaping