Downtown Los Angeles: Thriving in the grit 07.09.15

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Drawn by sunshine and cheap studio space, a dynamic creative community is making its home in a neighbourhood that has long been associated with grime and vice. We explore the area in the latest issue of Icon

For our Cities issue, we visited and photographed Downtown LA. With its large inventory of shabby but affordable buildings, plenty of old factories ripe for conversion and good transport links, DTLA has become the city’s most dynamic creative hub and is putting Los Angeles’s design scene on the global map.

Below, are Chantal Anderson’s photographs of the area and its creative community. For the full story by Tom Morris, pick up a copy of the magazine.

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Old industrial buildings ripe for the taking

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Rounded Metal Planter by Brook & Lyn



Chantal Anderson


Above: Hopie and Lily Stockman, co-founders of Block Shop Textiles

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Guard dogs reveal the area’s down-at-heel past

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The Ace Hotel, based in the former United Artists building, which was inspired by the cathedral in Segovia, Spain

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The Ace Hotel’s LA Chapter restaurant, a popular meeting place for the design community

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Block Shop’s colourful studio, round the corner from the Ace

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An old industrial edifice in the Arts District

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Mimi Jung and Brian Hurewitz of Brook & Lyn

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Two Rounded Metal Planters by Brook & Lyn (above and below)

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Michael Felix in his Palmetto Street showroom, a former paint factory

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Felix’s Friends stool


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Austere’s design store on South Hill Street

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Blue Bottle Coffee, a recent addition to the Arts District

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Looking up in the Arts District


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Iko Iko store, Chinatown

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Shin Okuda, designer of the Waka Waka range

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Okuda’s Leaning Cylinder chair

Subscribe to Icon to receive our new issue, Cities (pictured below), in which we consider the design and architecture that makes a city come to life – from landscaping to outdoor furniture

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