Lewis Schoeplein

Venice Japanese Community Center

PROJECT TYPE  Institutional
LOCATION  Los Angeles, CA

The Venice Japanese Com-munity Center was founded 85 years ago to serve the 35 or so Japanese-American families living in the area. Over the years it evolved from a Japanese language school, to a temporary relocation facility for families returning from WWII internment camps, and to a center to preserve the heritage and perpetuate the Japanese cultural experience. The current membership is over 1,700 families, and a new building is planned to include a social hall, classrooms, meeting and activity spaces.

The forms of the building roofs and of the shade structures are taken from the process of folding origami cranes. In Japanese tradition the crane represents good fortune and longevity, and its wings are believed to provide protection. 

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