The Desmond

The Desmond project involved the renovation and adaptive reuse of a vacant historic warehouse in the emerging South Park neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles. Originally designed in 1916 as an automobile showroom, the five-story brick building has been transformed to provide 88,000 gross square feet of modern, creative office space for Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), a leading sports and entertainment company, and its entities AEG Live, AXS ticketing, and Goldenvoice.

SOM's design intent was minimal intervention: restoring the integrity of the original architecture, and capitalizing on the building’s high ceilings, large windows, and exposed concrete structure. The design team located the original architectural and structural drawings of the building to better understand how to approach the renovation. A new sixth-floor glass pavilion was added, with a north-facing terrace that provides views of the downtown skyline.

The project includes major upgrades to the building's structure to comply with seismic and lateral loading codes. A new concrete frame was inserted at the perimeter of the building, while the construction of the sixth floor was made as lightweight as possible. Steel windows were refurbished and reglazed with high-performance glass to reduce energy use. At the ground level, a new storefront system provides transparency and a strong connection to the streetscape.

The interior design accentuates the building's industrial character and proportions in order to create modern, loft-style office space. It provides spaces tailored to the culture and functional needs of each business group, while also reinforcing a unified identity for AEG. Various amenities promote health and well-being, from interconnecting stairways that encourage physical activity, to the outdoor deck that provides a gathering place for employees.