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Case Study: Liberation Coffee House

June 18, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PDT

Free – $15.00


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Photo Credit: Eric Staudenmaier 

Case Study: Liberation Coffee House at the Los Angeles LGBT Center

This is a virtual event. Zoom log-in information will be emailed to registrants 24 hours in advance from events@aialosangeles.org. If you do not receive a confirmation 24 hours prior to the event, please email events@aialosangeles.org.

CES Learning Units: 1 LU

Project Credits
Architect: ORA
Owner: Los Angeles LGBT Center
Contractor: Swinerton Builders
Furniture: Pacific Office Interiors

Liberation Coffee House, designed by ORA and recipient of the 2020 AIA|LA Interior Architecture Citation Award, is a 1,600 square foot café, retail shop and gallery located in the recently completed Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Anita May Rosenstein Campus in Hollywood – an expansive urban development designed by Leong Leong and Killefer Flammang Architects that supports the Center’s affordable housing, social, and cultural programs. ORA principal Oonagh Ryan AIA IIDA and associate principal James Guillou Assoc. AIA will walk through the process behind the design and how the team succeeded in creating a community living room at the intersection of the Center and the surrounding neighborhood that welcomes all, supports the Center’s mission, and celebrates the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community.

Oonagh and James will specifically discuss concept development and how they drew inspiration from bold curved forms found in the campus architecture, Keith Herring’s art, and LGBTQ+ flags. They will also delve into their design process and walk through everything from furniture selections to finishes in the context of creating comfortable, inclusive, and multi-function spaces that have high design value. Recognizing the project’s success was the result of the diverse and passionate team assembled to execute it, they will reflect on the overall process and share how the project has led them to evolve their own design values and philosophy at the heart of their practice.


Oonagh Ryan, AIA IIDA – Principal, ORA
James Guillou, Assoc. AIA – Associate Principal, ORA

ORA was founded in 2014 and has completed work across residential, commercial, hospitality and institutional sectors creating an intentionally diverse portfolio that’s been recognized with several design awards.

The personality of the practice is one of optimism, purpose, agility and responsiveness. ORA works with clients, organizations and individuals with ambitious goals and ideas. Their work is playful and practical, exploring the intersection of space, light, quality, craft, economy and longevity. Their work speaks to the people it’s built for, the times we live in and how we live.


David Takahashi, AIA, LEED Green Associate – Staff Designer, KFA
David is celebrating his 5th anniversary at KFA Architecture this year and is already able to look back on the ways he has helped shape the architectural landscape of the city. He has been able to play a role in the design and construction of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the ongoing restoration of the West LA VA Campus and a number of additional residential & educational projects. With each new project he continues to expand his passion for Los Angeles, its architectural lineage, and the ways great design can help make small moments more meaningful. In 2020, KFA marked its 45th year of providing quality architecture that has affected every corner of Los Angeles. With over 18,000 residential units built thus far – 4,000 of which are affordable housing – the firm has left an indelible mark on the city. From its involvement in the adaptive reuse ordinance in downtown LA to the variety of mixed-use, hotel and supportive housing projects throughout the city, KFA is fulfilling their mission to design great places where people flourish.

Learning Objectives:
+ Participants will learn about the Los Angeles LGBT Center, their mission, and many lifesaving programs.
+ Participants will engage in a conversation about the power design has to embody the values of a community, voice a message, and ultimately facilitate change.
+ Participants will learn how to create high design value with limited resources.
+ Participants will gain an understanding of the value of harnessing the skills and creativity brought by a diverse project team.


June 18, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PDT
Free – $15.00
Event Category: