“There was an existing brick building and a small annex structure, but this turned into a pretty big intervention,” Tolkin says. “We changed the quantities, tidied up things and built the connection, which is now the meeting room.”
The results are spacious and flooded with natural light, thanks to the northern exposure and the existing skylights.
The main room has been brazenly dubbed the “Great Hall” because it is reminiscent of Gaines’ magnificent room in a royal palace. The design studio is an enclosed “clean” space for the production of works on paper, which must be insulated due to the delicate materials and the precise nature of the production. Other areas include a meeting room, a gallery, offices and upstairs a separate room for Gaines, something he has not had since the early days of his career.
The gallery in particular has quickly become an integral part of his practice. “I can now hang my work in a clear room and sit and live with the pieces,” the artist explains. “My work is system-based, and I do not live with my works while they are being produced. You only see fragments up to a certain point, where the whole thing is connected. So I needed a place where I could spend a period of time working unhindered. ”
The artist’s archives can now also be stored on site. “Before, I did not know where anything was!” Gaines shares with a smile. “There is now access because everything is organized. The team at Hauser & Wirth sees it as an archaeological find, like discovering a lost civilization! “
The icing on the cake has just started earlier this year – a grove of olive trees and a fountain in the inner courtyard. “I wanted to simulate a Mediterranean garden,” says Gaines, who called in landscape designer Wade Graham to help bring this vision to life. Graham notes that “since it is in the historic lease of the LA River and former area of vineyards and orchards, there was excellent soil under the concrete so the olive trees could thrive.” In this new environment, they – and the artist – have certainly done so.