Cesar Garcia, Founding Director and Chief Curator of The Mistake Room - a new independent international contemporary art space opening in Los Angeles later this month - announced today that architect Alfonso Medina has been chosen to design the institution's new home in Downtown Los Angeles. Medina, Founder and Director of T38 Studio - an award-winning architecture and development firm with offices in New York and Tijuana, Mexico-has received international acclaim in recent years for his groundbreaking work and research on architecture, urban development and community revitalization along the U.S.-Mexico border. Medina's project for The Mistake Room will encompass the renovation and design of a 4,500 square-foot industrial building located at 1811 E. 20thStreet in the emerging arts district of Downtown LA. The architectural project, slated to begin in May 2014 (after the institution presents a project by artist Oscar Murillo in the existing building), will unfold in stages that will be interjected with a host of temporary installations, film screenings, public programs and conversations that will explore Los Angeles's industrial heritage and the creative history of its Downtown area. The construction is tentatively slated for completion in late summer 2014.
"Medina is one of the most promising and prolific emerging architects working today and his projects challenge and advance our conventional understanding of architectural practice," says Director/Chief Curator Cesar Garcia. "Through his firm, T38 Studio, Medina approaches the process of building as a holistic endeavor that responsibly and meaningfully considers not only the spaces and physical structures that people inhabit but also the social and cultural impact that architecture can have on communities and more broadly, an entire city," he adds. Medina and his firm have completed over thirty housing projects in Tijuana, Mexico that have helped transform the quality of life in a city facing sprawling urban growth and rapidly changing demographics. Medina's projects for juried competitions have also received international recognition-receiving an Honorable Mention in Think Space's Past Forward: International Competition - The Peak, Hong Kong, juried by Zaha Hadid & Patrick Schumacher, and a Special Mention in the Museum Gardens Pavilion, London competition. More recently Medina's firm was also awarded First Prize for their proposal for the Boston Regen Competition.
"We are very excited to transform an industrial building in Downtown Los Angeles into the home of a new cultural institution that under Cesar Garcia's leadership will enhance the cultural landscape of Los Angeles," Medina states. "Our approach to the project will focus on renovating and adapting the existing building using raw materials that resonate with its immediate industrial context. Considering The Mistake Room's mission as an international hub that stimulates cross-cultural exchange between local communities and the world, we believe it is very important that the space maintain and reflect the industrial heritage of its locale and the peoples that live and work there. Our hope is to create an inviting and flexible space where not only is art exhibited but also where a wide-range of cultural programs can be produced and shared with both local audiences and a broader global public of visitors," he adds.
The Mistake Room's new space will mark Medina's first project in Los Angeles and his first art institution project.
(Image: Courtesy The Mistake Room)