The classic 1982 dystopian thriller Blade Runner took place in Los Angeles in the year 2019 and was partially filmed in the city’s 19th-century Bradbury Building—a National Historic Landmark that boasts ornate ironwork, Italian marble staircases, and a 50-foot-high arcade-style atrium. Fortunately, LA circa-2020 is much brighter than its cinematic stand-in.
For proof, look no further than Downtown LA’s boomtown-like revival and new spaces like NeueHouse Bradbury, the workspace and cultural home for creators, innovators, and thought leaders located on the building’s second floor.
As the third in the brand’s portfolio, and the second in LA, the Bradbury location remains specifically iconic. “I’ve been to 80 countries and have seen the most significant pieces of architecture around,” says NeueHouse CEO Josh Wyatt. “It’s a deeply emotional experience to walk into this building.”
To design the 25,000-square-foot space, Wyatt turned to Toronto-based DesignAgency, a firm he’s partnered with on 17 projects over the years, including many with the formerly Wyatt-led Generator brand. (He joined NeueHouse as CEO in 2018.) “It was inspiring and also a little intimidating,” DesignAgency founding partner Anwar Mekhayech says of working in the historic building. “We wanted to create something that felt timeless.”
On the brightest side of the building, DesignAgency added a lounge-like space surrounding the atrium, furnished with a tufted dark blue sectional, plush lounge chairs in a rust-colored velvet, and custom brass shelving unit with integrated stained glass. “We went with softer, warmer, and richer tones,” Mekhayech says. “It has a residential look that’s very luxurious.”
Large-format parquet flooring is punctuated by Art Deco-style mosaic tile at the bar, which is illuminated by a trio of opaque brushed brass and steel pendants. Throughout all the various rooms (connected via a series of hallways and dramatic doorways), refined materials juxtapose the exposed wood rafter ceiling and abundant brick found on numerous historic fireplaces and walls. “It’s an honest, luxurious space that has grit and a good edge to it,” Mekhayech adds.
Near the bar hangs a large-scale portrait of Blade Runner star Harrison Ford by the film’s set photographer Stephen Vaughan—one of several throughout. They join original works by artists such as Dave Muller, Steve Hash, and Sayre Gomez, who highlight NeueHouse’s mission. “We stand for being a creative system that inspires, supports, and provides outlets for our members who are musicians, artists, and people working in fashion, digital, and entertainment,” Wyatt says.
After the space was completed, NeueHouse Bradbury hosted a preview for about 250 members who congregated in the atrium as the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra recreated the Blade Runner score. “It was an incredible experience,” Wyatt says. “The way that people work is changing, and we are focused on creating an environment for socializing, working, meeting, and having fun.”
This article originally appeared in HD’s May 2020 issue.