The new hall would be built on the West Hall’s site and bridge over Pico Boulevard, connected on multiple levels with both Farmers Field (allowing for convention events to take place in the stadium itself) and with the South Hall, which was designed by Pei Cobb Freed in 1993. The South and West halls are now connected via a narrow passageway and have little connection to surrounding streets. The new facility would become one contiguous convention center, instead of two wings.
LACOEX’s glassy green and white exterior (the materials have not been finalized, said Voth) would take its chromatic cues from the South Hall. The project would also emulate Pei Cobb Freed’s large glass lobby with a giant “Grand Hall,” a multi-level glass atrium that will serve as the focal point for the convention center at large.
The building’s other elements will include a huge multi-use space; connections to the street, including the “Pico Passage,” leading people in from Pico Boulevard; and the expansion of the center’s Gilbert Lindsey Plaza from a narrow, unprogrammed strip into a multi-purpose space accommodating up to 1,000 people.
The new facility will include 195,000 square feet of what Voth called “A-class” exhibit space, and 48,000 square feet of multi-use space, increasing the convention center’s total size to about 1.1 million square feet. The center now holds a little over 700,000 square feet.
In designing the new facility Voth said his team brainstormed words that described Los Angeles, zeroing in on a few like iconic, dynamic, glamorous, influential and immortal.
“We’re trying to put LA even more on a global platform,” said Voth. Schematics are expected to be completed by March. After that AEG must finish an Environmental Impact Report and LA will have to play the waiting game to see if a new NFL team will get the ball rolling.