L&M Arts in Los Angeles

When the New York gallery L&M Arts were looking to expand to Los Angeles, they chose a 1930s power plant in Venice Beach as their West Coast outpost. WHY was commissioned to repurpose the space, creating a new gallery format which radically rethinks the “white cube” model.

Key info
Design Architect
Executed by WHY Architecture Workshop Inc.
Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Completed 2010
  • Building: 4,000 sq. ft.; Site: 13,100 sq. ft.
Design and Executive Architect, Landscape Designer

We felt it was important to maintain the modesty of the structure, creating an understated and carefully designed space which supports the gallery’s ambitious programming: solo shows by internationally renowned artists including Paul McCarthy, Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer, as well as group shows featuring emerging local artists. The restrained yet varied material palette acts to amplify and frame the artworks, harmonizing the relationships between people, art, and space.


Visitors are encouraged to explore the site as a whole, and galleries are defined in relation to circulation spaces and the surrounding landscaping. The structure of the renovated power station is complemented by a new diamond-shaped pavilion constructed from salvaged bricks, and a garden for site-specific sculpture allows for a constant rhythm between outside and in.

The gallery is closely integrated with its surrounding environment – the busy activity of Venice Boulevard is embraced and celebrated, while the landscaping and exhibition spaces offer enclaves of seclusion. The result is an immersive arts experience that extends throughout the site and reflects the spirit of the neighborhood.

General Contractor
  • RJC Builders
Structural Engineer
  • John Labib + Associates
MEP Engineer
  • John Dorius & Associates
Civil Engineer
  • VCA Engineers
Electrical Engineer
  • E.M.S.
Lighting Consultant
  • Lux Populi
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