Live Tour: Audrey Irmas Pavilion at Wilshire Boulevard Temple

Take a tour of the new Audrey Irmas Pavilion, a striking new building in the Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Glazer Family Campus designed by OMA completed in collaboration with Gruen Associates.  


When: Wednesday, November 11, 2pm EST

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Description: 

Wilshire Boulevard Temple Renovation:

Wilshire Boulevard Temple serves as the third home of the Congregation B’nai B’rith, which was founded in 1862 and is the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles.

Dedicated in 1929, the octagonal building was designed by A. M. Edelman, with Allison & Allison. Its Wilshire façade combines a traditional Romanesque three-arch portal and rose window with a vast Byzantine-style dome. The spectacular interior of the sanctuary is resplendent with black and gold Belgian marble columns, walnut paneling, marble marquetry, bronze Ark doors, and bronze chandeliers. As a gift to the synagogue, the Warner brothers, founders of the famous Hollywood studio, commissioned artist Hugo Ballin to design breathtaking murals depicting 3,000 years of Jewish history.

Despite the building’s designation as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1973 and listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, the structure suffered from deferred maintenance. The Ballin murals were in need of conservation, plaster from the coffered-dome ceiling had fallen due to water damage, art glass windows and surrounding cast stone were bowed, and nearly every surface was dingy and dirty. A Conservation Master Plan, focused on the most significant threats to the sanctuary and building. Infrastructure improvements were also needed to make the building safer, more accessible, and more comfortable. Spanning two years, the restoration and renovation team, led by Levin & Associates Architects, undertook seismic upgrades; the installation of an HVAC system served through the underfloor plenum; acoustic, audio/visual, and lighting enhancements; improved accessibility and sanctuary seating; and new and restored ancillary facilities.

Audrey Irmas Pavilion:

After viewing the sanctuary's renovation, take a tour of the new Audrey Irmas Pavilion (AIP), a striking new building in the Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Glazer Family Campus designed by OMA completed in collaboration with Gruen Associates. Located in the heart of Koreatown and directly adjacent to the Temple’s beautifully-restored, historic sanctuary, the AIP will serve as a multi-purpose event space for both the congregation and the surrounding city. The pavilion forges physical and visual connections with the sanctuary as well as the school and other existing campus activities and hosts a variety of gathering spaces inside and outside of the building including a fully-occupiable landscaped roof, which highlights the AIP’s intimate relationship with the sanctuary and provides panoramic views of the LA basin. Construction is almost complete and the project will open in early 2021, assuming that gatherings are allowed by then!

Comprised of three distinct voids that puncture through the building—a main event space, a smaller multi-purpose room and a sunken garden, the three interlocking gathering spaces are stacked one atop another to establish vantage points and framed views in and out of each space while creating a series of openings that filter light and re-orient visitors to the complex and beyond. At the ground level, the main event space echoes the temple dome by lowering the arc and extruding it north across the site. In its full-length, the expansive, column-free event space has the capacity to host diverse programs such as banquets, markets, conventions, performances and art events.

A more intimate meeting space and outdoor terrace on the second floor act as an extension to the event space below. The trapezoidal room and terrace face west towards the temple, reconnecting visitors to the campus. Connections to the exterior are maintained throughout the building—a sunken garden extends from the third level to the roof, opening out to expansive views of Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign and the hills to the north.

Learning objectives

  • Review how murals, art glass, and infill in the historic sanctuary were cleaned, painted where needed, and reattached. 
  • Explain how modern additions (speakers and lighting) have been installed in niches to mitigate their visual impact on the historic space, as well as how historic light fixtures have been restored.
  • Demonstrate how the interior coffered plaster dome ceiling showed visible signs of deterioration, efflorescence and cracks- and learn how the cast plaster was stabilized, consolidated and new castings were made to replace deteriorated or lost pieces.
  • Describe how the Sanctuary has been seismically upgraded to include new shear walls and roof reinforcing.

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In partnership with

User rating:
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
 $50  non-member
 $35  member
1.25 LUs
  • RIBA

Instructors

  • Jake Forster

    Associate | OMA

    Jake Forster is an Associate at OMA, based out of the New York office. Since joining the firm in...
  • Debra Gerod

    FAIA, LEED AP

    Partner | Gruen Associates

    Debra Gerod, FAIA, LEED AP is a Partner at Gruen Associates with 30 years of unparalleled...
  • Brenda A. Levin

    FAIA

    President and Principal | Levin & Associates Architects 

    Architect Brenda A. Levin, FAIA is known for revitalizing Los Angeles’ urban, historic and cultural...

Course details

Contents: Live session, evaluation