Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Los Angeles’ oldest Jewish congregation, will begin construction of the Audrey Irmas Pavilion on Sunday, November 11, 2018. The new addition will be a multi-use cultural, religious and event space on Wilshire Boulevard directly adjacent to the Temple’s historic sanctuary in Koreatown. The announcement was made by Senior Rabbi Steven Leder.
Client: Wilshire Boulevard Temple
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Partner: Shohei Shigematsu
Image courtesy of: OMA New York
From the architect: The Audrey Irmas Pavilion will be the firm’s first cultural building in Los Angeles led by Partner Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas as Partner in collaboration with executive architect Gruen Associates, landscape architect Studio-MLA and engineering by Arup. In addition to a new chapel terrace, it will include a grand ballroom, a series of meeting rooms, performance spaces and a rooftop sky garden with panoramic views. The new addition aims to provide an inspiring gathering place for the entire community, hosting both religious and cultural activities and performances.
Shohei Shigematsu said, “Focusing on communicating the energy of gathering and exchange, the pavilion is an active gesture, shaped by respectful moves away from the surrounding historic buildings, reaching out onto Wilshire Boulevard to create a new presence. We are thrilled to break ground on this significant project that will provide a new anchor for the Wilshire Boulevard Temple and the broader Los Angeles community.”
Rem Koolhaas said, “We are very happy to break ground on this addition to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a dramatic tribute to the Temple’s vitality and relevance in Los Angeles. When so many things seem to be pulling us further apart from each other, the Temple is an institution that brings the city closer together in peace. I congratulate my partner Shohei for his leadership of this project, which we hope will become a home for reflection, love and community.”
Enthused philanthropist Audrey Irmas, “I am so pleased and happy that the Pavilion is finally coming to fruition. It is something I have dreamed about for the last couple of years and I am thrilled to be part of this exciting day.”
“We are very pleased to have worked with OMA on the Audrey Irmas Pavilion,” said Debra Gerod, Gruen Associates’ Partner-in-Charge and project manager. “The complexities of its seemingly simple geometric forms created intriguing challenges for our team.”
"Wilshire Boulevard Temple has been a major religious and cultural presence in Los Angeles since 1862; our stunning sanctuary on Wilshire Boulevard is an historic landmark,” said Rabbi Leder. “In creating the Audrey Irmas Pavilion, we sought a design that would not only create much-needed new facilities, but also embody the vision and intention of our congregation to be a dynamic part of the 21st-century spiritual and cultural conversation that is Los Angeles. We are thrilled with the dramatic, beautiful and functional design created by Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu, and can’t wait to see it realized. We are deeply indebted to Audrey Irmas and the many other contributors who have made this project possible.”
Annenberg Foundation Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Wallis Annenberg said, “In all of my philanthropic work, I’ve tried to focus not just on giving, but on innovating. That’s why I was so excited to be a part of this new community center. Americans are living longer than ever before. That’s a wonderful thing. It also presents us with an important challenge: how to make those longer lives meaningful and purposeful, so older Americans can keep learning, growing and giving back. In my view, this community center can do an enormous amount to engage and strimulate older Angelenos. It’s the kind of innovative approach that we need now more than ever. Our older years really can be our best years with the right support, engement and community life. That’s exactly what this effort aims to provide.”
The Audrey Irmas Pavilion groundbreaking will be held on the construction site, at 3663 Wilshire Boulevard at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Completion of construction is anticipated in late 2020.