The Webster / Adjaye Associates

Adjaye Associate's spectacular design for the latest Webster store in LA with pink dye and varying raw textures.

Project Name : The Webster
Project Location : Los Angeles, California, USA
Architects/Designer : Adjaye Associates
Project Status : Built

Photographer: Dror Baldinger and Laurian Ghinitoiu.

Text description by the architects.

The Webster’s latest flagship store in Los Angeles is a new 11,000 square feet ground-up retail development adjacent to the historic Los Angeles Beverly Center. Juxtaposed beneath the monolithic eight story structure, The Webster elegantly asserts itself as a sculptural and experiential counterpoint to the Beverly Center’s retail experience. The cantilevered concrete facade references and reimagines the brutalist shell of the original existing building and is injected with a pink dye—an ode to the luminosity of California, where the Pacific light naturally amplifies saturated colors.

“In the past five years I’ve started to work with a lot of saturated red and pink hues, which extends back to the early color experiments I did at the beginning of my career. Pink felt like fashion, but I wanted to make something that was tough and gentle at the same time.”

– Sir David Adjaye OBE

Encompassing square footage that was originally allocated for interior retail, The Webster establishes a new public space at the intersection of San Vincente and Beverly Boulevards. Featuring a digital art wall and a sculptural water fountain, the new public space cultivates an unexpected urban oasis. Visible only from the underside of the cantilever, the digital art wall spans its surface area to form a column-less portico with banquette seating. Both out of deference to and in defiance of Hollywood’s amplified digital culture, the art wall is intentionally low resolution at 1472 pixels wide and 20 pixels tall; it is a sculptural canvas that will debut bespoke art pieces commissioned by The Webster.

At the main entry, a panoramic window—comprised of three sheets of curved glass—creates an angular visual portal, dissolving the boundary between the public space and the retail inside. Conceived as a landscape of forms for display and inhabitation, the color and material palette of The Webster’s exterior identity continue into the interior.

Oscillating between varying textures and types of concrete, the interior is akin to a sculptural field punctuated by cast-in place concrete columns and teardrop shaped display plinths, creating a series of vignettes for the curated merchandise on display. The ground concrete floor features black cherry marble fragments. Bronze framed mirrors and display racks line the perimeter. These interior finishes balance an appreciation for the sculptural beauty of the store’s sinuous form without detracting from the curated products on display. The upper walls of the fitting rooms are softened with vintage 1950’s wallpaper, sourced from the client’s personal collection.

Transcending the now dated transactional and commercial experience of most brick and mortar retail, The Webster offers a destination and experience not only for its clients but for the city of Los Angeles.

Designed by Adjaye Associates, led by principal architect – Sir David Adjaye OBE who is a Ghanaian-British architect who has received international acclaim for his impact on the field. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, his influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities. In 2000, he founded Adjaye Associates, which today operates globally, with studios in Accra, London, and New York and projects spanning across the globe.


His largest project to date, The National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by The New York Times.

Ongoing projects include a new home for The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; 130 William, a high-rise residential tower in New York’s financial district; the new Sydney Plaza, a public plaza, community building and artwork in Sydney’s Central Business District; The Abrahamic Family House, an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi; the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London; and the National Cathedral of Ghana in Accra.

Photographer: Dror Baldinger and Laurian Ghinitoiu.


Interior Design: Adjaye Associates, Accra, New York and London.

Client: Taubman Company / The Webster

Materials: Cast-in-place concrete, precast, GFRC, Glass, Pyrok, bronze

Client List

Client – The Taubman Company
User – The Webster
Design Architect – Adjaye Associates
Architect of Record – Neumann/Smith Architecture General Contractor – Jacobsen Swinerton Joint Venture Civil Engineer – Mollenhauer Group

Landscape Architect – Grissim Metz Andriese Associates Structural Engineers –Ludwig Structural (Engineer of Record) Guy Nordenson Associates (Design Engineer) Mechanical/Plumbing Engineers – E & S Construction Engineers Fire Suppression & Fire Alarm – Code Consultants Inc.

Lighting Consultant – Brian Orter Lighting Design Electrical Engineer – Swanson Rink
Concrete Consultant –Reg Hough Associates Facade Consultant – Thornton Tomasetti

Water Feature Consultant – Waterline Studios Inc. Technology Consultant – Standard Vision

Check out the project feature below in our DE magazine Edition.

check out the above full story in our

DE SEP-OCT 2020 Edition – for the love of terracotta and the raw concrete charm. #LetsGoRAW

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