A common refrain resulting from the Los Angeles Arts District’s ongoing gentrification goes like this: “There are no more artists left in the Arts District.” To stem the loss, Steinberg has imbued the AMP Lofts development, a 320-unit live-work complex that will cater to this shrinking demographic, with artist-friendly amenities and contextual formalism.
The 390,850-square-foot project, developed by Greystar and designed in concert with Shimoda Design Group, features a “clubhouse”—a space designed specifically for residents to fabricate and showcase large-scale artworks. The double-height loading dock and production facility protrudes from the parking podium as a separate volume, joining storefronts, an entry lobby, a set of townhouses, and a series of paseos as the project’s public faces.
Simon Ha, principal at Steinberg, said that the firm intended to “design simple buildings that would blend in with the existing industrial Arts District neighborhood.” The project, after all, is named for the AMP Automotive complex that formerly occupied the site. Ha explained that the design team sought to make the street fronts “funkier than those of a typical podium-style building” by designing the complex as a series of “jewel boxes elevated above parking.” The result is a cluster of layered mid-rise structures: stacked flats wrapped in vertical and horizontal louvers, gabled townhouses clad in lapped metal shingles, and a clubhouse wrapped by a large factory-style clerestory window.