This mixed-use development at 4130 Overland Ave aims to be an inclusive meeting place between both: a place for the county’s history to not be discarded nor calcified but built upon; a place for the county’s diversity to maintain its clarity while providing a space for community.
Comprised of varied programs, the project houses offices, the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum (MCL&M), low-income housing for artists in the area, and a historical courtroom and detention center to be preserved.
Each component to the project acts according to its own function and simultaneously in accordance with each other. At a larger scale, the office furthermore is as a place of exchange and dialogue, a new center piece to a developing cultural corridor. The offices meet the intersection of Overland Drive and Culver Boulevard as an attractor, while on the opposite end of the site, live/work spaces and low-income housing mediate between the commercial and an increasingly residential neighborhood.
In between is the Mayme Clayton Museum and Library—home to the largest collection of African American works west of the Mississippi, tirelessly collected by the late Mayme Clayton, and an integral part of Los Angeles’s past and present.
At their conjunction forms the plaza, and, like the Center itself in relation to the County of Los Angeles, it is a place for communal gathering: host to scheduled events, entryway to the offices, museum, and housing, and forum for cultural exchange and dialogue. It furthermore provides entry to the greenway—an elevated green space connecting the three programs on the second level above the street level.
The greenway is a courtyard turned corridor that allows for an additional level of communal space with an included layer of privacy. Above it all rests the canopy, a quilted patchwork and palimpsest representative of the county’s own diversity built up over its varied history and laid out over the city’s urban fabric. It connects the housing, museum, and offices under a single roof and yet allows each and itself to speak of its distinctive identity.