Ware Malcomb’s Latest Project Positively Impacts LA’s Skyline And Economic Growth

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Emma Weckerling
Emma Weckerling
Emma is the Former Managing Editor of Work Design Magazine.

Take a tour of 2130 Violet Street by Ware Malcomb. The building design was heavily influenced by the Los Angeles Arts District’s industrial heritage.

2130 Violet Street by Ware Malcomb

Project Overview:

  • Design Firm: Ware Malcomb
  • Completion Date: October 2022
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • Size: 113,000 sqft

Ware Malcomb recently completed a new high-rise creative office building located at 2130 Violet Street in the Arts District of Los Angeles. Ware Malcomb provided architectural design services for the project; Lowe, a Los Angeles-based national real estate investor, developer and manager, developed the project; and Swinerton provided general contracting services.

The nine-story project totals more than 113,000 square feet and is situated along the Los Angeles River. It includes 109,100 square feet of office space, 3,400 square feet of ground-floor retail, four levels of parking for 275 vehicles, outdoor spaces including private terraces, and a 3,000 square foot rooftop deck/lounge with stunning views of the city and mountains. The building incorporates 27,000-square-foot open floorplates, high ceilings, energy efficient building systems and HVAC. The ground-up project included the reuse of an existing site, high-rise construction within small site constraints, and a focus on maximum coverage.

2130 Violet Street by Ware Malcomb exterior

“We’re excited that 2130 Violet Street is the latest addition to Los Angeles’ vibrant Arts District,” said Sergio Valentini, Regional Director for Ware Malcomb. “We worked closely with all project team members involved to bring to fruition this dynamic, mixed-use property, which will transform the local office market.”

“2130 Violet brings a unique office experience to this part of town. The design draws from site forces to develop its forms, capitalizing on Los Angeles’s views while embracing The Arts District’s raw, industrial aesthetic.”

The design and aesthetic of 2130 Violet Street is heavily influenced by the Arts District’s industrial heritage, as evidenced by the exposed concrete and steel detailing. Recessed terraces on the office floors provide indoor-outdoor work and meeting spaces, and operable windows allow private access of fresh air. The building’s retail fronts of steel and glass protrude along Violet Street to welcome pedestrians and permit the building to become part of the urban fabric for both office workers and the general public. On the street level, a “green alley” with pervious pavement technologies, addresses sustainably stormwater and landscaping, and public sidewalks make the property a walkable environment. 

2130 Violet Street by Ware Malcomb rooftop

Project Planning

The C-suite was involved in decision making for overall base building design. Collaboration between the owner and the design team was critical to the successful design of the project. All parties were involved in all stages of design from building massing studies to material selections.

A health & wellness assessment was performed by the project team after commencement of construction to identify base building upgrade opportunities to benefit future tenants. The upgrades included touchless fixtures, touchless access controls, various HVAC and filter enhancements along with building system automation devices to track and report usage data.

The design already integrated wellness innovation such access to fresh air through operable windows, outdoor experiences with private and common spaces, and access to abundant daylight through maximizing windows.

Limitations of the zoning height created a challenge and need for a unique solution. Ware Malcomb’s solution was threefold: they articulated the garage levels in order to make clear heights work without requiring lower office levels or more building height. They also played with the parameters of height limitations. Lastly, they were creative with the building construction and configuration. The use of flat slabs and moment frames at the perimeter, where they wanted to express the structure in a contemporary industrial language, allowed them to maximize clear height on office floors.

garage door to balcony

In addition, Ware Malcomb needed to make the entitled building (not part of scope) work as a constructable object in order to stay within confines of entitlement. This included floor area, number of stories and parking. The team developed a flexible plan that maximizes site development and the openness of the floorplate with offset core and through building views. They also shifted balconies to the corners to help make the building easily demisable to multiple tenants without compromising on experience and design features.

Ware Malcomb faced stringent design standards from the city of Los Angeles for integrating the parking structure to the upper office so it looks seamless. The solution was to design it to look like one building cladding the garage in a mesh, allowing visual continuity but also meeting necessary ratings for fire and garage ventilation. This design solution allows for a continuous appearance within the structural grid without compromising on the form being through to the function.

Lastly the project was permitted and constructed during COVID. This resulted in all parties involved having to institute new protocols and creative solutions to complete plan check and construction activities.

common area

Project Details & Products

Health and Wellness

The building features access to fresh air, indoor and outdoor spaces, maximized daylight access, air quality monitoring, bicycle storage and showers (which became very important after COVID).

Branding Elements

Choosing materials, design simplicity, and the construction type were all in line with the character of area. Building on the historic characters created a contemporary, iconic design.

This is the first high rise in DTLA Arts District in 30+ years and is highly visible from freeways so the appearance of building was very important.

Unique Features 

The building can function as a single tenant corporate HQ type or as a multiple tenant building with tenants as big as a single floor or as small as a quarter or less.

There was design focus on the floor plan configuration and the location of balconies so that each floor could be efficiently and easily devisable. Multiple tenants can end up with an outdoor space.

Visual connectivity and maximizing access to views that define the region (Hollywood sign, mountains, ocean, downtown skyline) was a key objective in creating the building identity.

The ground floor retail pop-outs are designed to engage the users of a newly created streetscape with the building. Materials in this area increase visibility and are warmer so it can relate with the pedestrians.

retail spaces


Overall Project Results

The project was permitted and constructed during COVID which resulted in needing to institute new protocols and creative solutions to complete plan check and construction activities.

Illuminating results included creating a new class of office space and retail previously not available in this market. The building has had a transformational impact on the area. Thanks to its visibility, it has become a beacon for the Arts District.

Project Summary

Photography credit

Benny Chan Fotoworks

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