On the grey January day we meet at his Culver City studio—as on nearly every other day of the year—Kulapat Yantrasast is wearing a boiler suit. The elegant navy one-piece, the Thai-born architect reveals, is a copy of a Comme des Garçons original, bought in Japan in the mid-90s, that he had specially tailored on a trip to Bangkok. Comme only makes it in two colors; Yantrasast now owns around 30, in assorted fabrics, for every occasion. He wears his black edition, paired with a crisp shirt and bow tie, to fancy galas.
Yantrasast’s ubiquitous boiler suit neatly encapsulates his architectural style: functional, comfortable, pragmatic, but also elegant and original— unafraid to stand out in a crowd.
His practice wHY, which has offices both in New York and Los Angeles, has designed private residences, public landscaping projects, exhibitions, products and furniture. But it is for his work in the art world—designing museums, galleries, private foundations and a studio for artist couple Jonas Wood and Shio Kusaka—that he is best known. He tells me he currently has around 30 projects on the go, including an extension to the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, a renovation of galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, a design for the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry in Riverside, California, and a private museum in Manila, the Philippines. He also created the striking temporary structure for the first Frieze LA art fair in February at Paramount Studios. […]