The city is getting serious about stealing that lucrative convention business from stalwart cities like Anaheim, San Diego, and Las Vegas. With our resurgent downtown and the adjacent L.A. Live district, it’s time for a makeover of our dated convention center, which opened during the presidency of Richard Nixon.
A convention center remodel was supposed to happen in concert with an adjacent DTLA football stadium from developer AEG, but the stadium plans are pretty much dead (though alive for other parts of the city). Now, the city has taken it upon itself to refresh the place themselves and have narrowed the designs to three finalists.
The teams are AC Martin and LMN Architects; Gensler and Lehrer Architects; HMC Architects and Populous. All presented insanely ambitious proposals. HMC and Populous’ plans may be the most striking, with its bright splash of crimson color that includes red carpets—an enduring symbol of L.A.—covering walkways and adjacent streets. HMC/Populous also envision a ballroom roof that references the soon-to-arrive Broad Museum across downtown. The other two teams presented designs that accentuated boxy protrusions that recall Paris’ Pompidou Center.
The designs will be on display at the convention center until June 4. The three teams will make the case for their designs during a public presentation on the evening of June 2, while the architect should be chosen by the end of the year.
“Today, we’re taking a big step forward in investing in our future and bringing more business, more visitors, and more jobs to our city,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “I’m very pleased that with these functional and attractive designs, Los Angeles is closer to a Convention Center that reflects our city’s position as the global capital of creativity, innovation, and possibility.”
Check out the designs below, all via Eddie Kim of the Downtown News.