Garment Industries’ new anchor: atelier mark vaghei designs a cornerstone for the Garment District

Westwood, CA

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ateliermarkvaghei (www.atelierv.com) was tasked with designing a mixed use structure which would serve as the primary anchor at the entry point to the Garment District of Downtown , Los Angeles at the corner of 9th and San Pedro.  The primary program for the building would be to house the garment manufacturers.  However, the building was tasked to be more than just a place for wholesale garment sales and manufacturing; it was to include restaurants, food court, offices, lofts and entertainment making it a destination and a hub for the community.  Utilizing an almost 61,000 sf corner irregular lot, atelier mark vaghei’s proposal was a a 4 story complex with 2 levels of subterranean parking garage.  “We conceptually thought of our proposal as a solid rock with cracks strategically placed to allow for entry and exit alignments as well as a courtyard which would house the vertical transportation”  Says Mark Vaghei, AIA , atelier mark vaghei’s founder and principal.  why a Rock? you may ask? The entire building was conceived as being inwardly oriented with the exception of upper floor offices and restaurants which would have windows toward downtown views.  This by necessity reduces window exposure at the perimeter and provided an opportunity to treat it as a solid.  “We wanted to avoid a massive blank structure on the outside, so we provided it with a perforated stainless steel veil to reduce its apparent mass and provide for porosity and lightness” says Mark Vaghei, AIA


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Guggenheim Helsinki by atelier V




atelier V submitted an entry into the Guggenheim Helsinki International Design Competition (http://designguggenheimhelsinki.org/).  This competition had the largest number of entries in the history of international competitions.  A total of 1,715 entries were submitted from around the world.  The following is the brief as submitted in the atelier V’s entry and all the images and drawings including the actual boards:

Lighthouse as inspiration.


Given the strong maritime history of Finland, location of the museum site at the Etelasatama, the symbolic gateway to the city from the sea and the need for the museum to be the new cultural icon of Helsinki, our concept draws from the most prominent seaside structures of Finland’s history: Majakat or the Lighthouse.  These structures always taller than anything around them, highly visible both day and night, were first symbols of the civilization lying beyond their maritime border.  Guggenheim Helsinki becomes the 21st century cultural symbol of Helsinki at Etelasatama entry point much the same way as the traditional Majakat (lighthouses). The new structure along with The Helsinki and Uspenski Cathedrals triangulate to cement the place of Helsinki amongst World Class cities.   We propose here a very horizontal contrasted by a very vertical place of gathering for families and visitors, a place to navigate through and take in the views, and view art at one’s own pace and pleasure.  The small footprint, height, and prominence of a typical light house as metaphor, and the modernist heritage in Helsinki thus become the ideal starting point for our concept for the new Guggenheim.

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atelier V’s Guggenheim Helsinki Competition Entry picked as one of top 32 by ArchDaily

Westwood, Ca.

Guggenheim Helsinki

ArchDaily (http://www.archdaily.com/), the respected online architectural magazine published its top 32 picks out of a total of 1715 entries to the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition.  atelier V is proud to have its entry selected by its peers as of the top entries in this important international competition.

“We are always delighted to test our thinking against some of the highest standards of world architecture and urban-ism and know that we belong!” Says Mark Vaghei, AIA, atelier V’s Principal in charge of the design for the competition entry

For more on this please go to: http://www.archdaily.com/579268/32-discarded-guggenheim-proposals-you-should-know-about

to see atelier V’s entry to the competition please go to: www.atelierv.com

See the entire article after the break:

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Collaboration in High Ideas: Design Dialogue with Mark Vaghei

Westwood, California
The following in an excerpt of  Jan Horn’s Interview with Mark Vaghei, AIA , Principal at atelier V : architecture (www.atelierv.com) that appeared in the Sunday edition of Los Angeles Times on July 13th, 2014.
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Mark brings to the architectural table a sense of style and design aesthetic that hails from his native blueprints containing a wealth of building history. One of the central and cultural elements found in his archived memories of home is—the courtyard. With his affinity and appreciation for modernism, the courtyard concept is a natural synthesis between his early roots and the love for this period of design.

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Eighty Cool Rooms : atelier V designs boutique hotel for East Hollywood

Westwood, CA

012The area of Hollywood east of 101  freeway has always played second class to “Real Hollywood” to the west.  Recent redevelopment efforts have had a big effect in revitalizing the area especially between the Hollywood Freeway and Vermont and several mixed use projects have either been built, are under construction or entitled and ready to go.  atelier V : architecture (www.atelierv.com) has been engaged to design an 80-room boutique hotel in the area contributing to further revitalization of the Hollywood Blvd. corridor east of the freeway.  ”The area is zoned R-5 restricting all hotel development to lower densities per the Vermont/Western Specific Plan, while the proximity to the Metro and the dense urban fabric calls for higher density development, this is an issue that we will be struggling with the Planning department on”  Says Mark Vaghei, AIA, atelier V’s Principal in Charge.

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Avanti Expands : atelier V designs Legendary Pasadena Restaurant

Westwood, Ca


avanti10Avanti cafe has been serving Pasadena residents with one of the best original wood fired pizzas anywhere in the nation since 1986.  In fact their pies have been named number one pizza in Pasadena for 17 years in a row.  When the Owner/Proprietor Bobby and Mina Ghofranian finally thought of opening a second location due to popular demand, they came to atelier V : architecture to design it for them.  ”Bobby is what I call a tireless warrior, when he came to us we all wondered what took him so long ! their food had been so good for so many years that an expansion seemed almost inevitable “ says Mark Vaghei, AIA, atelier V’s Principal in Charge.  This time however, Bobby Ghofranian wanted to take his legendary Italian fair to a new level.  He purchased the old Spring Garden Chinese restaurant at 187 Sierra Madre, an old establishment owners of which had retired.  ” The existing building was a a 50 year old tired looking triangular mess of a structure, we basically had to gut it down to its old tired frame and start all over”  Says Mark Vaghei, AIA.

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