Marking the evolution of a new typology of community-based urban development, Los Angeles LGBT Centre’s Anita May Rosenstein Centre is located in the heart of Hollywood. Designed by the New York and LA-based studios, Leong Leong and Killefer Flammang Architect, the project was commissioned in a competition and inhabits various programs for the LGBTQIA+ community. 

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Anita May Rosenstein Campus- Courtesy: Leong-Leong.com

It spans across a 183,700 square foot campus which is nearly a city block on the Santa Monica Boulevard and North McCadden Place facing the Los Angeles LGBT Centre’s The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, which comprises a theatre, art galleries, offices and meeting spaces.

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Anita May Rosenstein Campus- Courtesy: Leong-Leong.com

Representing the Pride community, the building concept is itself a replication of their identity. The sculptural volumes with a mosaic of unique spaces along with a seamless transition of interiors and exteriors are truly symbolic of the community’s distinctive character. The porous pedestrian-oriented campus with a public plaza and a series of courtyards is reflective of their inclusivity. 

The multiple glass facades floating above transform into a variety of shapes including circles and rounded edges give a strong presence with an institutional scale. The building with its changing appearance when seen from different angles creates a stir of curiosity while accommodating diverse spaces within. 

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Anita May Rosenstein Campus- Courtesy: Leong-Leong.com

Hosting a bunch of diverse spaces, the centre unifies various social services as well as cultural and institutional programs. It envisions a cohesive platform for living as an intergenerational LGBTQIA+ community by integrating services across both campuses. In addition to it, it encompasses a 100-bed housing for the homeless youth, Senior and Youth Centre, Youth Academy, expanded programming, administrative spaces, retail space and much more. 

The glazed walls are designed with a pattern to reduce transparency and solar gain while some spaces are intentionally left blank to form three circles visible from different angles referring to the round logo of the centre.

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Aerial View of Anita May Rosenstein Campus- Courtesy: Leong-Leong.com
Los Angeles LGBT Center - Anita May Rosenstein Campus by Leong Leong + Killefer Flammang Architects: Catering to All under one roof - Sheet5
Internal Courtyards of Anita May Rosenstein Campus- Courtesy: Leong-Leong.com

Taking inspiration from the traditional Hollywood courtyard houses, the centre tries to inculcate a similar sense of residential space into the building. Besides infusing an array of activities and functions in the building, the courtyards act as creative buffer zones maintaining desired privacy and security. As interactive green spaces, the courtyards offer plenty of light to the numerous areas accommodated by several age groups. 

Out of all the open cavities, the main courtyard is surrounded by the youth centre. The glass doors can be slid open and the rectangular garden courtyard flexibly connects with the communal kitchen and the activity room making it all the more interactive. 

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Internal Courtyards of Anita May Rosenstein Campus- Courtesy: Leong-Leong.com

Furthermore, the building confines a public plaza along the North McCadden Place designed to integrate the building across the street. The overall idea of the building emphasizes the ease of connectivity and transparency which is very accomplished by the open plaza. Not only it integrates the two buildings, but it also refines the experience of the visitors and transforms it into an interesting interactive space. It also helps in modulating the scale of the building envelope and thus brings in more inclusivity. 

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Aerial View of Anita May Rosenstein Campus- Courtesy: Leong-Leong.com
Los Angeles LGBT Center - Anita May Rosenstein Campus by Leong Leong + Killefer Flammang Architects: Catering to All under one roof - Sheet8
Anita May Rosenstein Campus- Courtesy: Leong-Leong.com

The angled glass façade is yet another striking feature of the campus as it features a 50-foot-tall Pride hall, designed as a multipurpose hall and is flexible enough to be divided into smaller rooms for community programs. The bi-folding doors from the hall open outside and are positioned adjacent to the plaza, featuring a heritage wall that describes the entire history of the Centre and the LGBTQIA+ community. 

In addition to this, the tower provides access to the rooftop deck, which is an urban observatory overlooking the famous Hollywood sign. 

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Anita May Rosenstein Campus- Courtesy: Leong-Leong.com

Accentuate curves and staggering volumes define an overall contemporary perspective for the intergenerational LGBTQIA+ community, symbolizing winds of change and open mindsets. The building stands as a metaphor amidst modern society telling the ancient history of the community and simultaneously enriching their future. While translating the past, present and future, it is symbolic of the strength and struggles of the community. 

On the other hand, it is an evolved model of community living and sets unprecedented standards. It forges a beautiful platform for social progress and represents relentless support and sustenance for the community. And this is just not it, a second Phase is incoming further with increased facilities and services for additional support. 

Author

Kanika Trivedi is an architect and a writer who believes in Design Activism. Architectural writing can be a strong means to spread awareness about the underlying issues in architecture fraternity. She also believes that a space is nothing without its context and so there is a lot to learn while you incessantly explore new circumstances and their interpretations.

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