An Undeniable Architectural Favorite


An Undeniable Architectural Favorite

By: Laura Kapp

In 2007, the Los Angeles City Council named October as LArchitecture Month to recognize architects and the significant contributions they’ve made to the City’s culture and municipal life. Each year since then, AIA|LA facilitates special celebrations, educational events, and new opportunities to explore unique or otherwise closed-to-the-public buildings around the City.

This year, we elected to add our own RKA spin on the special month by polling our team members as to their all-time favorite building in LA. Since we all find inspiration in different things, moments, or places, I assumed there’d be 12 different responses. But, I was wrong!

We agreed that The Broad in Downtown LA “is it” because it always, undeniably, provides an exciting architectural experience. Here are a few stand out elements that make our architect hearts beat a little bit faster:

The Broad is a simple concept: an interior "vault" covered by the exterior "veil" facade. However, the way these two relationships are explored is what truly makes the project exciting. Near the main entries to the museum the facade is peeled back, allowing the public to experience the "between" space of the veil and the vault. In these moments you can look up and see the complex structure that holds the façade in place.


There are also moments where the veil completely engages the building. For instance, in the top floor galleries the facade is used as a system to distribute indirect daylight to the artwork below. The filtered light creates a beautiful pattern while still allowing for uniform distribution to enjoy the immense collections in the gallery.

In one special instance, the interior rebels and pokes through the facade to create the glass "eye" - a window from the conference room. This "eye" almost seems to defy the materiality of the facade, making it feel more fluid than solid.

This fluidity is also emphasized through the facade’s interaction with the sun. Throughout the day the shadows stretch and compress along the facade making the seemingly uniform panels read as unique characters. This constant variability provides a new experience of the building on every visit.


On the interior, this fluidity is experienced in the cave-like museum lobby. The floors, walls, and ceiling all appear as if a strong river had come and smoothed the rough cave edges into sinuous curves. As you rise in the escalator from the dark lobby through the cave you are opened to a bright white gallery full of a collection of treasures.

As you can see, this simple, yet intriguing structure has something for everyone and we’re grateful it does. Now, a team outing is calling!



Daubert head shot.jpg

Congratulations to our newest architect, Chris Daubert.

Obtaining an architect’s license is not an easy task, but Chris tackled this challenge with drive, commitment, and a huge smile on his face. Oh, and he accomplished it while working an architect’s schedule.

Chris has been with Rockefeller Kempel Architects for 4.5 years and lends his expertise to many of our clients - commercial and residential - as a Project Architect. When Chris isn’t surfing before work or playing 9-holes at the Lakes at El Segundo, his insatiable curiosity keeps him looking toward the future of architecture.

Read on to find out more about Chris. And the next time you’re together, tell him you read his name in the L.A. Times’ feature on our Rolling Greens Nursery client. Another proud moment of ours.

Name: Chris Daubert, AIA

RKA Title: Project Architect

Degree(s) & From Where: Bachelor of Science in Architecture from SUNY Buffalo; Masters of Architecture from the University of Southern California

Professional Affiliations: AIA | LA

Where do you see the future of architecture going? I believe we’re in a very exciting moment in architecture right now. Technology and automation have tremendously impacted the way we perceive the built environment. Not only from a construction perspective but from a design and production sense as well. I see that having a big impact on the way architecture firms work in order to live up to fast expectations from clients.

What keeps you inspired? Inspiration comes to me in random moments of realization when I find myself not understanding how something works, or functions, or how it's built. This moment creates a drive and curiosity from within that inspires me to learn why it works the way it does, or the mechanics of how something functions, or how parts go together to build something.


What's your favorite building in L.A.? I love the LADWP John Ferraro Building. It was designed by an LA-based architect and tends to be overshadowed by the new buildings going up in LA with starchitect names. The LADWP building is a perfect example of Los Angeles modern that has stood the test of time and prominently sits within the city fabric.

What do you love most about working at RKA? The office culture. It’s an awesome feeling knowing that every morning when you’re driving to work you’re excited to get in there and work with people you enjoy being with.