Prism by Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich


Los Angeles-based architects Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich of architectural practice Patterns have completed an art gallery on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Called PRISM, the project is a three-storey gallery space designed to showcase work by new artists.

The building incorporates exhibition space, film-viewing and lecture areas, and a bookshop.

The facade is made of a polycarbonate resin-based composite, which creates a reflective surface during the day and becomes transluscent at night, lit from within.

Strips of this material wrap around the building, peeling away to create openings for the foyer and to light the internal spaces.

Photographs are by Joshua White.

Here's some text from the designer:


Based on a radical geometric contextualism, our concept for the 8746 Sunset Blvd attempts to produce an architecture of subtle sensations by inducing a physical and optical dynamism that both challenge and enhance the movement of the body.

The formal logic of the facade is the outcome of a productive negotiation between geometric operations governed by the column grid of the existing building and driven by spatial conditions allowed by the singularity of the adjacent context.

The spatial performance of the store is based on the bending effect of two reciprocally ruled surfaces: the facade that bends inside up and the pliant stair that bends outside down, create a magnetic field that gravitates towards the interior.

The bent facade operates as a responsive skin that by means of local inflections senses the dynamics of pedestrian activity on the sidewalk and nearby strip. The interior bent surface fluidly shreds into steps allowing the emergence of a differential hybrid that operates as a stair and display system at the same time.

PRISM’s inaugural exhibition, “mindthegap,” will feature artists Phil Frost and Barry McGee, and will be open to the public from Nov.20-Feb.20

Posted on Friday November 6th 2009 at 12:36 am by Ruth Hynes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Hank

    So why aren’t there any pictures of it at night?

  • ste

    thefolding of the roof towards the inside in combination with the glass facade moving out in 45degree is sooo very very strange..

  • g-had

    decorated shred

  • betuwill

    In my opinion this project fails within its methods of construction.It becomes too evident that the architect was trying to force the morphology of a fluid, seamless twisting geometry into the rigid Cartesian construction grid. Picture number one proves this if you look at the kink. It destroys the initial intention of the architect described in the explanation of the project.

  • dalstonrosi

    “The facade is made of a polycarbonate resin-based composite, which creates a reflective surface during the day and becomes transluscent at night, lit from within.” And then no night shots?

  • Redfern

    I too am disappointed in the lack of night shots of this building. It would be good also to see how the facade impacts the interior – “lighting the internal spaces” and the stair-display system.
    The form of the glass part of the facade does not relate at all to that of the polycarbonate resin-based composite part. I feel this highlights, as betuwill already mentioned, the facade’s uneasy relationship with the existing structure of the building.

  • Sara

    yes please.. I want to see pictures by night…

  • aeolus

    So the design makes a statement to attract and condition visitors to the gallery. But god is in the details and how well the convoluted skin is integrated with the fenestration is key. The way the skin touches the pavement at the entrance could cause problems.

  • roel

    NIGHT pictures please, why otherwise mention this translucent effect?

  • Martin

    The last photo is at night isn’t it? Anyway, lets see some pictures of it in snow please.. thanks!

  • ying

    i wanna see it at night!!!!! i think that polycarbonate is in the fashion, so many architectects practice with it.

  • jacob

    It’s obviously a facade fetish–but it’s a pretty interesting one. The day shots are plenty sexy.

  • This is awesome i agree if its possible i would like to see some pictures during night time i guess the lighting with the face must look spectacular =)

  • Seems like every image is the same. Okay, we get it, the surface is striated and pulled and pushed into the wall. Now show the inside which is the good bit please.

  • Terri

    @ Martin – SNOW?!

    It’s in Los Angeles…

  • Peter

    I would like to see it in snow too. Otherwise there is no reason for this design.

  • nmiller

    The snow comments must be some kind of inside joke. This is in sunny Southern California!

    Regardless, as a facade, I think it’s pretty cool… but still superficial. What sums up LA better?

  • sencillamente espectacular. que bien por los espacios interiores y el translucido, para las obras de arte que se colocaran en este recinto . felicitaciones

  • What I really want to know is what kinds of exhibitions are planned for the upcoming months?? Who runs the program and what artists can we look forward to seeing there?

  • looks clunky, it really failed to be fluid with the interjecting glazed ‘afterthought’ and the oddly orientated entrance. Perhaps it would have been more interesting to enter on the fair right, underneath the ‘peeling’ away skin?

  • Beautiful lines – lovely work.

  • toro

    kudos on getting this built, but i could do without the architectural gibberish…”radical geometric contextualism,” “reciprocally ruled surfaces,” i am not buying it. i hope nobody trips on the “magnetic field” at the front door.

  • intern

    First of all…. i thought by reading this article Marcelo and Georgina were Architects I was also told that they were the Architects for this design then i find out that neither names Marcelo Spina nor Georgina Huljich are Architects! I called their office and they confirmed that are not Architects nor do they have an Architectural practice. de Zeen should get their facts correct before they publish information. It just proves that you cant believe what you read.

  • Jane Rovie

    This building is only possible because of the hard work of the architect of record. The project has taken many years and long hours to complete and the reward for the real architectural team is to see someone else (an unlicensed architect at that ) taking credit as the architect of record.
    Shame – don’t you guyus check your facts?

  • mandy


  • James

    Some moments are very nice. Others feel awkward.

    The cheap looking ‘greenhouse’ glass detailing on the right is unfortunate.

    But overall, I give it a B for the effort. If you go to Patterns’ website though (, you can see their FYF residence, which gives you a look at a much more clumsy attempt. It’s unfortunate because Spina should be doing good work. Some of his other projects look too derivative of Tom Wiscomb’s stuff, which could be another criticism.

    Keep trying Marcello, we need guys like you to be the next gen.