LTSC Project by Zellnerplus



LTSC Project by architects Zellnerplus is a proposed renovation of a shopping mall in downtown Los Angeles.


The architects plan to remove part of the roof to create an open air mall, add four bridges between the existing shopping centre and car parks, and clad the building in semi-corrugated aluminium panels.


The facade will include new balconies and windows, and will also be shaped to accommodate existing openings.


Aluminium panels of the new facade will hang from a steel structure attached to the original building.

The following is from Zellnerplus:


LTSC Project Overview

ZELLNERPLUS was invited by a consortium of property developers to provide a strategy and vision for repositioning a nearly thirty year old, concrete masonry 125,000 square foot (11,612 square meter) indoor shopping center in downtown Los Angeles.


Due to shifts in the demographics of the neighborhood, the shopping center has become largely vacant.


The new owners of the property asked ZELLNERPLUS to develop and illustrate an architectural strategy for improving the market appeal and retail “image” of the property.


Based on discussions with the shopping center’s new owners, ZELLNERPLUS proposed a renovation of the interior mall, shared outdoor public spaces and an adjacent five level parking structure.


The scheme presented here architecturally re-envisions the shopping center by proposing the following renovations to the property:

  • Partial removal of the existing shopping center roof to create a true open air mall;
  • Introduction of new street level entry points and new escalators;
  • Addition of new aluminum cladding, windows, balconies and balcony railing systems;
  • Provision of four new bridges to the existing parking structure;
  • Introduction of a New Ground Level Public Plaza providing more permeable and open ground floor circulation;
  • Removal of vehicular circulation from the pedestrian mall;
  • Redesign of all public spaces including new exterior paving, and new outdoor furniture.
  • ltsc_general_sitestudy.jpg

    The custom aluminum cladding system is intended to be a cost-effective and completely water permeable new skin for the shopping center.


    It serves primarily as an expedient means to cover and re-image the existing shopping center’s split-faced CMU infill façade.


    The cladding system is composed of approximately 300 unique and 900 repeated semi-corrugated aluminum panel units hung on a light weight custom steel frame attached to the existing CMU façade.


    The cladding system’s common geometry is the result of a simple process of compact triangulation applied to the exterior surface and volume of the existing shopping center.


    Exceptions for existing openings, existing fire stair volumes, new balconies, new street openings and new entries force the new building skin to bulge or pocket at unique moments.


    As a result of this process each cluster of triangulated panels responds in concert to these bulging and pocketing pressures- the effect being a variegated but consistent new wrapping for the shopping center.





    Posted on Saturday September 6th 2008 at 2:03 am by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

    • Lim

      Doesn’t look so good don’t u agree? The open air mall idea is pretty good, but the facade is just too geometrically complex. A rough idea, good one nonetheless..

    • Vico

      I have trouble seeing little other than the usual lazy triangulated geometry.

    • trent

      uh-oh, another building that shouldn’t be taken further than it’s renderings…. in the interest of the people that will have to use these spaces, let’s leave concepts as concepts, ja?

    • Fling

      Is there a sock shop?

    • nana

      very L.A. = not good

    • HH


      well, I would like to know what generated the triangular meshed facade idea, because if a valid reason\argument can be construed, then what would make more sense is experiment with openings that actually employ the same formal language as the facade, I can’t see a reason why the openings can have a triangular system to them…

    • nique

      cladding schmadding.. this is like taken directly from 3d model wireframe!! what lazy architecture this is!!! i can’t believe this kinda design gets approved.. disaster indeed

    • DN3

      It will look old very soon!!

    • NMiller

      The programmatic ideas and diagrams for renovation seem thoughtful. The skin, however, feels like an afterthought… very sloppy in concept.

      How does a new expensive facade deal with the larger economic issues related to the death of a shopping mall? Is this new image really responsive to the demographic shifts that have resulted in vacancy? These designers seem overly concerned with the “cool” image over the real urban issues surrounding a project of this sort.

      Fling… sock shop indeed.

    • Casey

      The text explains the triangulation.
      Looks Great!

    • critic

      yes triangulation is explained, nevertheless it’s unimaginative and boring.
      tired, wired, expired? more than the latter!

    • Ulysses

      Nothing bothers me more than when people reduce an architectural discussion to computer operations. Who cares whether the triangulation was generated from the the 3d wireframe? Just because you are aware (or unaware) of how it was done does not make the project more or less successful. This project has it’s successes and failures and you should talk about them critically.

      NMiller is right: How does the skin deal with the real problem of the project which is the urban context of that area and why it’s failing.

      If you were to ask me I would think that the triangulation activates what is a rather monolithic facade and creates a sense of movement into that a courtyardish space. Not a terrible concept…

      However there seems to be so much triangulation that it actually does the the opposite in most cases and you seemed to be trapped in a world of triangles. It actually makes the space very stagnant which doesn’t seem like such a good strategy to activate an urban space.

      It kinda seems like the designers thought that a geometry type rather than solid design concepts could solve their problems. Rather typical these days.

    • Local

      Living in this neighborhood, the lack of any type of context shown in the images, or considered in the design, disturbs me. This superficial skin-job will become a jarring eyesore in Little Tokyo – much like the Office dA gas station it seems modeled after over in the Beverly Hills area. Dropping a harsh metal 3d-wireframe building into a cozy commerical/residential neighborhood will not necessarily make a successful mall, no matter what new demographic the shops inside are aimed at. Thinking in terms of the neighborhood, pedestrian movement, and the existing urban fabric may lead to a more integrated and desirable destination for my rapidly gentrifying little neighborhood. I am hoping someday soon we see some architects from the SCI-Arc clan dealing with the issues of real space rather than digital surfaces.

    • Mac

      Do a google (image) search for “ROC Nijmegen” or look here:

    • Stefan

      i love geometric experiments and i normally disagree with the ones shouting out “Lame” if something isnt rectangular… buut… this truly is Lame… they found out about triangulations in 1980 so what is this facade for in 2008?
      and why is nobody interested in the program and the functions? because these things are as basic as they are in every mall.. no vision and no innovation in here just black background and triangulation…

    • da

      disagree with lim > I think the facade is elegant in its complexity and articulation… nice one peter

    • Tom Sawyer

      The rendering which shows the escalators breaking off the facade and continuing the patterning at a smaller scale then becoming the patterning on the ground is quite elegant. I think there is more complexity in this project than most of you realize.

      It’s sad that most of you can only see triangles. In fact it’s the same people who see the same curvy form over and over again from Zaha and go “masterpiece” but don’t understand that those curves when built get rationalized in quads or trianglular panels.

      At least this project tries to use rationalized geometry in a conceptual manner rather taking a conceptual geometry and post-rationalizing how the skin will be built.

      Good project.