This project involved the transformation of two derelict warehouses in South Los Angeles (formerly called South Central) into the first phase of a new showroom district whose purpose is to serve the area’s many furniture manufacturers. The project also includes venues for cultural events. Part of a four-phase master plan, it contributes to the economic renewal of this historically overlooked neighborhood with 20,000 square feet of exterior event space and 80,000 square feet of flexible interior space.To show respect for the social history of the site, the existing buildings are layered with a richly textured palette of materials and screens that seem both permanent and impermanent at the same time. By turns hiding, revealing, and filtering aspects of the original buildings and the surrounding environment, they animate what is original to the site while simultaneously creating a unique identity for this venture.Off-the-shelf materials such as concrete, polycarbonate, cement board, fabric, and ordinary lumber (as well as small amounts of stainless steel and zinc sheet metal) were selected for their low cost, ease of construction, industrial nature, and inherent beauty. The main exterior space between the two buildings serves as the social center of the project and can be used as an ordinary parking lot, a combination “people-car” space (its most common function), or a large event space. Several large parties, including the 2005 Los Angeles Chapter AIA Gala, have encouraged many Angelenos to visit a neighborhood they have never been to before. The building’s interiors were sandblasted to bring back the warmth of the existing wood and masonry structures. At the main lobby space, two bays of the second floor were removed and a stair was added to draw customers up to the Cisco Brothers Showroom.