LOS ANGELES, CA.-
Co-Founders of the global clothing empire Guess? Inc. have selected the LA-based firm wHY Architecture
to design their new private art museum. The Marcianos, of the Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation, recently purchased the majestic, marble-clad Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Blvd to house their extensive contemporary art collection. Upon completion in 2015, the 90,000 square foot museum will feature periodic exhibitions for the public.
Known for their outstanding contributions to the fashion and architecture industries, the Marciano brothers and wHY Architecture Principal Kulapat Yantrasast are salient figures in the art world. Maurice Marciano was recently named one of the world's top 200 active art collectors by Artnews magazine, and Yantrasast was heralded one of the 100 most powerful people in the art world in Art+Auctions 2012 Power 100 list.
In recent years, wHY Architecture has completed galleries for L&M Arts and Perry Rubenstein. Currently, the firm is leading arts projects across the United States, including the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, gallery design at Harvard Art Museums, the Tyler Museum of Art in Texas, a new Studio Art Hall at Pomona College, and The Art Bridge in Los Angeles, in addition to several houses for top art collectors.
The Marciano venture is not the first time that Thai-born Yantrasast has worked with fashions elite; wHY Architecture worked on the James Perse store in Tokyo and the Bathing Ape retail space on Melrose Avenue. Before co-founding wHY Architecture in 2004, Yantrasast was a close associate of Pritzker Prize-winner Tadao Ando, where he was project architect, overseeing Armani / Teatro for Giorgio Armani and A Ranch for Tom Ford.
I have been struck by Millard Sheets design since I moved to LA and am excited to be part of bringing new life to this deserted structure. It is truly a dream project that bridges my passions and interests in art, architecture and fashion. This museum will surely change the game of art in Los Angeles. states Yantrasast.
wHY Architecture will transform the four-story Scottish Rite Masonic Temple into a light-filled exhibition and storage space. Originally conceived by artist Millard Sheets as a grand meeting place for 10,000 Scottish Rite Masons in 1961, the building spans an entire block of Wilshire between Lucerne and Plymouth Blvds. During its peak, it was one of the largest Masonic centers in California. Following a decline in membership of the secretive, centuries-old fraternity, the property suffered a period of neglect lasting nearly two decades. Some of the more illustrious members of the Masonic order included George Washington, Mark Twain, Henry Ford, and Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt.