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9/11/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Architecture firm designs mixed-use complex around LA MTA station


The Koreatown district of Los Angeles now features one of the city’s first mixed-use projects to be built around a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) station.

Designed by architecture firm Arquitectonica, Wilshire Vermont Station is a mixed-use, urban “village” developed above an underground stop on the Metro Red Line, about three miles west of downtown Los Angeles. The complex opened last month.

Jointly developed by MacFarlane Partners and Urban Partners L.L.C., Wilshire Vermont Station occupies an entire city block. It consists of two seven-story buildings centered on an exterior public plaza and a renovated subway portal to the existing Wilshire/Vermont MTA underground Metro Rail Station. The development also includes a new MTA bus plaza.

The two buildings – which extend for a full block north and east, respectively – comprise 449 rental apartments (20 percent of which are designated for low-income residents), 36,500 square feet of retail space, and three levels of underground parking.

“The design is largely about the grand gesture that announces the transit station, taking the pedestrian from the corner through a courtyard to the station,” said Bernardo Fort-Brescia, Arquitectonica's founder and the project's design architect. “The buildings are comprised of a series of rectangular prisms that define the surrounding streets and create an internal space. There is a purposeful celebration of arrival. The buildings reinforce this notion in their layout and emphasis of color and form.”




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