Located in LA's Arts District, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel occupies the 10,775-square-metre Globe Grain & Milling company buildings, a series of conjoined industrial structures dating from between 1896 and 1929.
The formerly industrial complex was once home to one of the west coast's largest milling companies.
The team left the street-facing facades largely unchanged, but widened an opening between the buildings to create a breezeway. They also removed a portion of the roof to create a large interior courtyard for sculpture and installations.
The interiors now include 2,200 square metres of enclosed galleries, bookshops run by DAP, Printed Matter, and Hauser & Wirth Book, a cafe, educational space, offices, and storage. An outdoor planting garden is also planned.
The designers retained much of the industrial character and patina of the spaces, including metal overhangs in the courtyard, worn mosaic tiles, exposed wooden beams and peeling paint.
The double-height South Gallery includes a long peaked skylight, an open staircase, large columns, and exposed concrete floors.
The North Gallery includes monumental wooden trusses supporting a curved wooden ceiling.
Founded in 1992 in Zurich by Iwan and Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser, Hauser & Wirth has outposts in New York, London, and Somerset, England.
For the LA gallery, the founders teamed up with the well-known curator Paul Schimmel, formerly of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
"The site is intended to be activated day and night by the public and to create another area for the community to gather formally and informally," Evan Raabe, an architect at Creative Spaces, told Dezeen.
"The public garden, which will have raised planter beds and trees, will act as a place to enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend while not feeling you are in a gallery. These elements create a deeper view into everything that Hauser Wirth & Schimmel has to offer beyond the art," he added.
The opening show is dedicated to sculpture by women artists including Louise Bourgeois, Lee Bontecou, and Eva Hesse.
"The buildings all have their own unique identity and beauty, our job was to simply bring that back out. I think the first show really presents this intent, allowing the artist's work to be presented in its ideal environment, be it a white wall, a raw industrial space with peeling painted brick walls, or in a concrete courtyard," Raabe said.
The gallery represents leading artists including Mark Bradford, Roni Horn, Pierre Huyghe, and Pipliotti Rist, among others.
Creative Space is a design and real estate development firm with offices in LA and San Francisco. New York-based Selldorf Architects are known for its galleries, including previous projects for Hauser & Wirth, cultural and educational projects, and high end residential work.
Los Angeles is experiencing a boom in contemporary architecture and creative culture, and the city has become a leading destination for international architects to create innovative work. Last year, Diller Scofidio + Renfro completed a new building for The Broad, a private art museum commissioned by the collectors Eli and Edythe Broad, featuring a waffle-like facade. The city is also investing in new parks and infrastructure, including a ribbon-like bridge over the LA River.