Exposed and Always Under Construction Formerly the Santa Monica Museum of Art, wHY collaborated with…
The Marciano Art Foundation (MAF) selected wHY in 2013 to transform a deserted Scottish Rite Masonic Temple in Hancock Park into a new center for contemporary art.
Dedicated to the presentation and production of contemporary art, the 110,000 square foot building is conceived as an ‘Art Playground’, an interconnecting and flexible environment that balances the unique integrity of the historic building while tailoring it to support the Foundation’s mission.
wHY’s intention was not to re-design or alter the building but to preserve and safeguard it for many years to come through extensive waterproofing, hazardous material abatement and building system upgrades. For the grounds and parking in the rear, a contemporary reinterpretation of the historic landscape — a process closely involving the planning commission and other agencies of the City of Los Angeles — gives Marciano Art Foundation a dynamic street presence and urban life.
Once inside, visitors feel transported back in time as a result of the meticulously restored historic architecture — its original features, motifs and details. At the same time, a fresh and vibrant ambiance is created through the introduction of new walls, ceilings and lighting systems to make perfect spaces for contemporary art.
A variety of exhibition spaces, from the very large featuring exposed structure to the more intimate, provide the Foundation with a flexible environment for exhibitions of a single artist’s work, numerous exhibitions at one time, or special events. wHY’s strategic design synthesizes the variety of spaces throughout with the final addition of a wHY-designed café/lounge and bookshelves.