The recently restored 1929 Wilshire Boulevard Temple is looking to build a neighboring structure to house special events for its congregation and the public, and they've asked starchitect Rem Koolhaas to submit a detailed design proposal. The New York Times reports that the Pritzker-Prize-winning architect is working on "a dynamic, trapezoidal five-story building" that would rise next door to the synagogue. Inside, the new center would contain offices as well a large, first-floor banquet hall dotted with windows arranged to form "an intricate, Moroccan-inspired pattern," in a nod to the temple's "quasi-Moorish" style. Update 4:30: An earlier version of this post gave the impression Koolhaas had already been selected for the project. We've since updated the post to reflect that he has not.
Atop the new Koolhaas building, there would be a rooftop level at the same height as the temple's dome. (Prediction: this will be a popular Instagram spot.) The structure would serve as "an inspiring gathering place for the many different communities in our neighborhood, which may well be the most ethnically diverse neighborhood west of Brooklyn," the leader of the congregation at the temple tells the NYT. There is no explicit timeline for the project at this point.
The Wilshire Boulevard Temple reopened in 2013 after being closed for two years of renovations; the project was overseen by architect Brenda Levin. Aside from being architecturally significant to the neighborhood, the historic synagogue has a rich Hollywood history. Movie producer Louis B. Mayer gave stained-glass windows to the temple, and the Warner Brothers commissioned a mural for the interior. The seating was even arranged as though the place of worship were a movie theater; there's no central aisle through the pews as an effort to "preserve the best seats in the house."
This would be Koolhaas's second high-profile project in LA at the moment. Koohaas and his firm OMA are working on the Plaza at Santa Monica, and last year were approved to build a 148-foot-tall residential-and-retail complex at Fourth Street and Arizona.
· Los Angeles Temple Chooses Koolhaas for a Grand Expansion [NYT]
· Touring the Restored 1929 Wilshire Boulevard Temple [Curbed LA]
· SaMo Picks Rem Koolhaas's Taller Plaza at Santa Monica Plans [Curbed LA]