HONORING THE PAST AND EMBRACING THE FUTURE

Contacts
Media Inquiries:
Donald Levy 
/ Wilshire Boulevard Temple / dlevy@wbtla.org / 213-835-2140

 

Donor Relations:
Cheri Lauterbach 
/ Wilshire Boulevard Temple / clauterbach@wbtla.org / 213-388-2401

 

Information:
Jamie Geller 
/ Wilshire Boulevard Temple / jgeller@wbtla.org / 213-388-2401

WILSHIRE BOULEVARD TEMPLE TO BREAK GROUND ON THE AUDREY IRMAS PAVILION, FROM PRITZKER PRIZE-WINNING ARCHITECT REM KOOLHAAS AND OMA PARTNER SHOHEI SHIGEMATSU

Annenberg Foundation to Launch Unique New Community Hub for Purposeful Aging At Completed Site

Los Angeles, November 7, 2018—Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Los Angeles’ oldest Jewish congregation, will make a major architectural and cultural statement when it breaks ground Sunday, November 11, 2018, on the Audrey Irmas Pavilion, a multi-use cultural, religious and event space on Wilshire Boulevard directly adjacent to the Temple’s historic sanctuary in Koreatown.  The announcement was made by Senior Rabbi Steven Leder.

Rabbi Leder also announced that the Temple is finalizing plans with the Annenberg Foundation to build out a groundbreaking new community space within the Audrey Irmas Pavilion for purposeful aging, offering cutting-edge programming. The center will be open to the community at large and will seek to inspire a path to purposeful aging through wellness, creativity, tech exploration, social connections, community engagement, financial education and more.

The Audrey Irmas Pavilion will be the first building in Los Angeles from Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas and OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu, with collaboration by consulting architects Gruen Associates.  In addition to a new chapel and terrace, it will include a grand ballroom, meeting rooms, performance spaces, a rooftop sky garden with panoramic views, and a world-class catering kitchen.  It will be an inspiring gathering place for the entire community, hosting religious and cultural activities and performances.

Said Rem Koolhaas, “We are very happy to break ground on this addition to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a dramatic tribute to the Temple’s vitality and relevance in Los Angeles. When so many things seem to be pulling us farther apart from each other, the Temple is an institution that brings the city closer together in peace. I congratulate my partner Shohei for his leadership of this project, which we hope will become a home for reflection, love and community.”

Explained Shohei Shigematsu, “We wanted to focus on communicating the energy of gathering and exchange. The Audrey Irmas Pavilion is an active gesture, shaped by respectful moves away from the surrounding historic buildings, reaching out onto WIlshire Boulevard to create a new presence. We are excited to work with WIlshire Boulevard Temple to create a new anchor for the community at large.“

Enthused philanthropist Audrey Irmas, “I am so pleased and happy that the Pavilion is finally coming to fruition.  It is something I have dreamed about for the last couple of years and I am thrilled to be part of this exciting day.”

“We are very pleased to have worked with OMA on the Audrey Irmas Pavilion,” said Debra Gerod, Gruen Associates’ Partner-in-Charge and project manager. “The complexities of its seemingly simple geometric forms created intriguing challenges for our team.”

In addition to Mayor Eric Garcetti, both of the Audrey Irmas Pavilion’s architects, and Rabbi Leder, the groundbreaking ceremony will include several dignitaries from the surrounding Koreatown community, currently the fastest-growing area in Los Angeles, as well as other city officials.

"Wilshire Boulevard Temple has been a major religious and cultural presence in Los Angeles since 1862; our stunning sanctuary on Wilshire Boulevard is an historic landmark,” said Rabbi Leder.  “In creating the Audrey Irmas Pavilion, we sought a design that would not only create much-needed new facilities, but also embody the vision and intention of our congregation to be a dynamic part of the 21st-century spiritual and cultural conversation that is Los Angeles.  We are thrilled with the dramatic, beautiful and functional design created by Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu, and can’t wait to see it realized.  We are deeply indebted to Audrey Irmas and the many other contributors who have made this project possible.”

Annenberg Foundation Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Wallis Annenberg said, “In all of my philanthropic work, I’ve tried to focus not just on giving, but on innovating. That’s why I was so excited to be a part of this new community center.  Americans are living longer than ever before. That’s a wonderful thing. It also presents us with an important challenge: how to make those longer lives meaningful and purposeful, so older Americans can keep learning, growing and giving back.  In my view, this community center can do an enormous amount to engage and stimulate older Angelenos.  It’s the kind of innovative approach that we need now more than ever.  Our older years really can be our best years with the right support, engagement and community life.  That’s exactly what this effort aims to provide.”

The Audrey Irmas Pavilion groundbreaking will be held on the construction site, at 3663 Wilshire Boulevard at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Completion of construction is anticipated in late 2020.

 

WILSHIRE BOULEVARD TEMPLE CONFIRMS PLANS FOR NEW OMA-DESIGNED BUILDING:
AUDREY IRMAS PAVILION

Los Angeles, March 30, 2018—Plans for Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s new community gathering place, designed by the world-renown firm Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and its partners Shohei Shigematsu and Pritzker Prize winner Rem Koolhaas, were submitted for approval to the City of Los Angeles today, revealing the initial design and the first rendering. Pending approval from the city, and additional fundraising, the new building will break ground in late 2018 with plans to open in 2020. Named Audrey Irmas Pavilion for its lead donor, whose $30 million gift for the project launched the capital campaign in 2015, the building will be in dialogue with the congregation’s 1929 Byzantine-Revival sanctuary located on Wilshire Boulevard, midway between the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The design is an expression of respect to the surrounding buildings—the west façade slopes away from the existing temple while leaning south away from the historic school. The resulting form, carved by its relationship to its neighbors, is both enigmatic yet familiar. The subtle expression simultaneously reaches out toward the main urban corridor of Wilshire Boulevard to establish a new urban presence.

The pavilion is comprised of three distinct gathering spaces that puncture through the building—a main event space, a smaller multi-purpose room and a sunken garden. The three interlocking gathering spaces are stacked one atop another to establish vantage points and framed views in and out of each space while creating a series of openings that filter light and reorient visitors to the complex and beyond.

Construction of Audrey Irmas Pavilion will complete the Temple’s Building Lives Campaign by providing a space for the Temple’s members and other organizations to host events, meetings, and programs in an inspiring architectural setting. Audrey Irmas Pavilion will include a grand ball room with a commercial kitchen, meeting and conference rooms, and a rooftop sky garden, all of which will be available for use by the larger community.

Rabbi Steve Leder states, “Audrey Irmas Pavilion, designed by Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu —the firm’s first cultural building in California—will offer an irresistible invitation to gather, celebrate, learn, and reach out to others. In a city so large and so diverse, we need community, and we need inspiring, welcoming places. Los Angeles deserves a modern masterpiece that brings people together in the heart of the city’s most diverse neighborhood. We are very proud that Wilshire Boulevard Temple will be a vital part of the cultural, religious, and socially conscious conversation that is defining 21st Century Los Angeles.”

Shohei Shigematsu commented, “We wanted to focus on communicating the energy of gathering and exchange. The pavilion is an active gesture, shaped by respectful moves away from the surrounding historic buildings, that reaches out onto Wilshire Boulevard to create a new presence. Within the building, a series of interconnected meeting spaces at multiple scales provide ultimate flexibility for assembly while maintaining visual connections that establish outdoor indoor porosity and moments of surprise encounters.”

Audrey Irmas explains, “Wilshire Boulevard Temple has been an important part of my family for generations. I am so happy to have provided the first major gift, and I hope others will be inspired to support Audrey Irmas Pavilion and bring it to completion.”

OMA was selected as the winner of an architectural competition to design the approximately 55,000-square-foot building, which will accommodate events for the congregation and the greater Los Angeles community, such as weddings, bat and bar mitzvah celebrations, conferences and galas for nonprofit organizations, and other events and meetings. It will also be used for cultural programs and large-scale support for those in need, such as hot meal programs and medical clinics. The Pailion will have a meaningful civic presence, bringing an important architectural structure to Wilshire Boulevard, and the entire city of Los Angeles. It will be positioned on the Temple’s Erika J. Glazer Family Campus on Wilshire Boulevard, in the heart of this vibrant urban center, in the neighborhood now called Koreatown. The budget for the building project is estimated at $85 million.

The design is an expression of respect to the surrounding buildings—the west façade slopes away from the existing temple while leaning south away from the historic school. The resulting form, carved by its relationship to its neighbors, is both enigmatic yet familiar. The subtle expression simultaneously reaches out toward the main urban corridor of Wilshire Boulevard to establish a new urban presence.

The pavilion is comprised of three distinct gathering spaces that puncture through the building—a main event space, a smaller multi-purpose room and a sunken garden. The three interlocking gathering spaces are stacked one atop another to establish vantage points and framed views in and out of each space while creating a series of openings that filter light and reorient visitors to the complex and beyond.