If you see any iconic building with sculptural vocabulary in LA, that is probably designed by Griffin Enright Architects.

It is an architecture firm based in LA, established in 2000. They have worked on diverse projects with innovative solutions.

Their projects have a sculptural vocabulary and have won multiple awards.

In 2019 at the design feed series, Margaret Griffin talks about the hybrid quality of mules which has the potential to build empires and improves the lives of those around it. Their philosophy is to produce problem-solving hybrid designs similar to a mule, one of a kind, the new model of authenticity.

They pursue unexpected solutions with their focused, intentive, and strategic thinking. With their expertise in construction and community engagement, their projects become a landmark.

Let’s take a look at their 15 diverse projects-

COMMERCIAL PROJECTS:

1. UR-BAN-CHAN FARMERS MARKET & ATRIUM — SEJONG, KOREA (RTF (AWARD-WINNING PROJECT)

An urban-kitchen marketplace, not only the shopping place of this city but also the origin of products. The blend of modernity with historical marketplace vibes makes this project unconventionally engaging.

It has an eco-corridor/pedestrian spine creating a cross-circulation that welcomes pedestrians to engage in various activities from shopping to eating. 

The multi-level connections make this place not only convenient to walk but also a fun activity.

The atrium looks like a sculpture carved from a huge block.

UR-BAN-CHAN FARMERS MARKET & ATRIUM — SEJONG, KOREA (RTF (AWARD-WINNING PROJECT) - Sheet1
Ur – Ban – Chan farmer’s market and atrium © www.griffinenrightarchitects.com
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Ur – Ban – Chan farmer’s market and atrium © www.griffinenrightarchitects.com
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Ur – Ban – Chan farmer’s market and atrium © www.griffinenrightarchitects.com
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Ur – Ban – Chan farmer’s market and atrium © www.griffinenrightarchitects.com

2. BAND NOMADIC CAFÉ 

A café that seems like a floating bar. It has continuous ribbon installation with lights embedded. The table becomes a wall and further becomes a ceiling. 

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3. MOBILE EXPOSURE LOS ANGELES, CA

It is a mobile café at the Southern California Institute of architecture.

The café moves along the façade which is 1/4mile long. 

The project is ecologically sensitive. The shell façade has solar panels installed on it. This fuels the hybrid engine used for the movement of the café. 

They have created a closed system(self-sufficient) in which input comes from the façade and output is the movement of the structure.

 

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4. THAXTON AND ASSOCIATES OFFICE & RETAIL BUILDING

The building that engages deeply with the street. Window projections make the building look like an animation. Clear justification of the quote- “architecture is frozen music”.

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Thaxton and associates office ©www.griffinenrightarchitects.com
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Thaxton and associates office ©www.griffinenrightarchitects.com
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EDUCATIONAL PROJECTS

5. ST THOMAS SCHOOL, K-8, LOS ANGELES, CA

This project is cost-effective and interactive. The cost of this school is around 1/3rd of the cost of other schools in LA. 

The structure is composed of light-weight steel, metal mesh, and colored stucco. 

The firm explains on their website, “the design achieves the maximum effect with limited resources, working with an economy of means and a cost-effective material palate to turn constraints into architectural opportunities” 

They have strategically used the ‘urban porch’ as a multi-use space.

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6. CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL SOUTHSIDE, K-8, CHICAGO, IL

One of the most important spaces for a school is the playground. This building emerges from the ground around a huge playground in the center. The design fosters young minds through a collection of “Walls of words” 

The building form interacts with the landscape, complementing nature. 

This project has won the Los Angeles AIA Next LA Award.

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Chicago Public School ©www.griffinenrightarchitects.com
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7. CHINESE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG- FACULTY AND STAFF HOUSING

This institutional housing project has 554 units with various options for individuals and families. Public connections with landscape areas are enhanced with a covered passage that descends with the topography. The building engages with its natural surroundings, yet, it has an innovative design suitable for the school. 

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Chinese University of Hong Kong ©www.griffinenrightarchitects.com
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Chinese University of Hong Kong ©www.griffinenrightarchitects.com

RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS

8. VENICE BEACH HOUSE

It is a spec house for a developer. The main strategy was to make spaces look bigger. The peel out entry is very welcoming. Side yard becomes usable space.

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9. POINT DUME RESIDENCE, MALIBU, LA

Half of the site lies on the big rock. One enters at the mid-level. The form is strategically designed to provide beach view in the day time on the ground floor and view of city lights at night on the first floor. Peel out windows provide beach view from the toilet. Skylights winding the living room provide indirect natural light. 

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10. BRICH RESIDENCE

The pool seems like coming into the house, this provides a unique experience. The see-through bridge adjacent to the glass wall creates an illusion of infinite space. 

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11. LUKE LAKES VILLA, CHENGDU, CHINA

46 villas are designed on a whole new water city in Chengdu. The villa’s form is pinched from the center, creating a series of courtyards between villas.

A similar strategy as Birch house has been adopted to bring in more light through the winding skylight. One enters on the mid-level, bedrooms are on the upper level, and from the lower level, the lake can be accessed. Lower level has entertainment spaces like a home theatre. 

This boat-like structure compliments the lake. 

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Luke Lakes Villa ©www.griffinenrightarchitects.com
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CULTURAL PROJECTS

12. GUGGENHEIM HELSINKI

This iconic museum creates an urban landmark for Helsinki. The Northside has a huge cantilever that welcomes the public into the building. This museum acts as a bridge between the city and its river. 

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13. OUR LADY OF BRIGHT MOUNT CHURCH, LOS ANGELES, CA

An existing sanctuary was remodeled into a Church. A new ventilation system is installed hidden behind an interesting inverted curved ceiling. Skylight is also concealed with the ceiling; this provides indirect natural light. The white interiors make space look bigger and welcoming. 

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Our Lady of Bright Mount Church ©www.griffinenrightarchitects.com
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Our Lady of Bright Mount Church ©www.griffinenrightarchitects.com

14. BOYS & GIRLS CLUB, LOS ANGELES, CA

A club that provides career leadership and learning opportunities for Boys and girls. It is spread over an area of 24,000 square feet. The conoidal form of the club is mathematically precise yet formally expressive. Spaces are designed such that they provide direction and freedom at the same time. 

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LANDSCAPE PROJECTS

15.  MAK LA – VERTICAL GARDEN MAK LA, HOLLYWOOD, CA

The existing Schindler house was redesigned. Roof-top is a garden and the basement is OAT. Double helix ramps lead to the garden on the roof-top and the OAT at the basement level.

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Mak La Vertical Garden ©www.griffinenrightarchitects.com
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REFERENCES:

www.griffinenrightarchitects.com/projects

https://youtu.be/QjnlHjdwdBk

https://youtu.be/emms05WaQXI

Jasmine Arora
Author

Shaka Laka Boom Boom inspired this lady in her childhood (series with the magic pencil, which converts drawing into reality in less than a second). Later, she understood that between possibility and reality, there is a certain distance. Finally, she came across a powerful tool to travel that distance: Architecture!

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