By Ellie Stathaki
Roberts Projects has just launched its new home in Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles. The gallery, which is now situated within a generous, expansive space that has been restored by Johnston Marklee, also celebrates its 23rd anniversary in 2023. The structure that hosts the business is a historic 1948 building – a 10,000 sq ft former automobile showroom – and it has now been given a facelift, tweaked to fit its new purpose as a fresh hub for the Los Angeles art community.
Roberts Projects by Johnston Marklee
Johnston Marklee, which is a deft hand at creating purposeful, elegant California spaces as well as homes for culture, was also behind Roberts Projects’ previous location in Culver City. Now, the art gallery's new headquarters cut a graceful figure that balances white, clean, minimalist architecture with a touch of the structure's industrial past and historic features. Buro Happold crafted the lighting design plan.
The interior is elevated by a 30 ft-high vaulted feature ceiling. It's carefully illuminated and accompanied by another three gallery rooms. The characterful, yet subtle identity of the space works in harmony with a variety of experiences, allowing art to be immersive, and at one with its context. It also celebrates the site's history, as this was the original location for the Max Barish Chrysler-Plymouth dealership, ‘Auto Dealer to the Stars’, from where Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, Bob Hope and Michael Landon bought cars.
‘We are thrilled to be collaborating with Roberts Projects on their future gallery in Los Angeles, our second project together, within a quintessential bow truss commercial building from the 1940s on La Brea Avenue. For their new location, we are designing a collection of galleries that will support the diverse content and scale of artists’ work including site-specific installations that have come to define the gallery. The spaces will range in scale from a large volumetric day-lit hall to intimate project rooms. The elemental façade and building mass will integrate the new gallery into the cultural landscape of the arts and architecture across the city,' said Sharon Johnston, FAIA, and co-founder and partner at Johnston Marklee.
Roberts Project's new home was unveiled alongside a major Kehinde Wiley exhibition (the artist is also currently showing at the De Young Museum in San Francisco) and the publication of books by Amoako Boafo and Betye Saar.