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    Audrey Irmas Pavilion




Media Inquiries:
Donald Levy
/ Wilshire Boulevard Temple / / 213-835-2140
Donor Relations:
Cheri Lauterbach
/ Wilshire Boulevard Temple / / 213-388-2401
Jamie Geller
/ Wilshire Boulevard Temple / / 213-388-2401


Los Angeles, March 30, 2018—Plans for Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s new building, designed by the world-class firm Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and its partners Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas, were submitted for approval to the City of Los Angeles today, revealing the initial design and the first rendering. Pending approval from the city, and additional fundraising, the new building will break ground in late 2018 with plans to open in 2020. Named Audrey Irmas Pavilion for its lead donor, whose $30 million gift for the project launched the capital campaign in 2015, the building will be in dialogue with the 1929 Byzantine-Revival sanctuary located on Wilshire Boulevard, midway between the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Construction of Audrey Irmas Pavilion will complete the Temple’s Building Lives Campaign by providing a space for the Temple’s members and other organizations to host events, meetings, and programs in an inspiring architectural setting. Audrey Irmas Pavilion will include a banquet hall with a commercial kitchen, meeting and conference rooms, and a rooftop garden, all of which will be available for use by the larger community.

Rabbi Steve Leder states, “Audrey Irmas Pavilion, designed by Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu —the firm’s first cultural building in California—will offer an irresistible invitation to gather, celebrate, learn, and reach out to others. In a city so large and so diverse, we need community, and we need inspiring, welcoming places. Los Angeles deserves a modern masterpiece that brings people together in the heart of the city’s most diverse neighborhood. We are very proud that Wilshire Boulevard Temple will be a vital part of the cultural, religious, and socially conscious conversation that is defining 21st Century Los Angeles.”

Shohei Shigematsu commented, “We wanted to focus on communicating the energy of gathering and exchange. The pavilion is an active gesture, shaped by respectful moves away from the surrounding historic buildings, that reaches out onto Wilshire Boulevard to create a new presence. Within the building, a series of interconnected meeting spaces at multiple scales provide ultimate flexibility for assembly while maintaining visual connections that establish outdoor indoor porosity and moments of surprise encounters.”

Audrey Irmas explains, “Wilshire Boulevard Temple has been an important part of my family for generations. I am so happy to have provided the first major gift, and I hope others will be inspired to support Audrey Irmas Pavilion and bring it to completion.”

OMA was selected as the winner of an architectural competition to design the approximately 55,000-square-foot building, which will accommodate events for the congregation and greater community, such as weddings, bat and bar mitzvah celebrations, conferences and galas for nonprofit organizations, and other events and meetings. It will also be used for large-scale support for those in need, such as hot meal programs and medical clinics. The new building will have a meaningful civic presence, bringing an important architectural structure to Wilshire Boulevard, and the city of Los Angeles. It will be positioned on the Temple’s Erika J. Glazer Family Campus on Wilshire Boulevard, in the heart of this vibrant urban center, in the neighborhood now called Koreatown. The budget for the building project is estimated at $75 million.

The design is an expression of respect to the surrounding buildings—the west façade slopes away from the existing temple while leaning south away from the historic school. The resulting form, carved by its relationship to its neighbors, is both enigmatic yet familiar. The subtle expression simultaneously reaches out toward the main urban corridor of Wilshire Boulevard to establish a new urban presence.

The pavilion is comprised of three distinct gathering spaces that puncture through the building—a main event space, a smaller multi-purpose room and a sunken garden. The three interlocking gathering spaces are stacked one atop another to establish vantage points and framed views in and out of each space while creating a series of openings that filter light and reorient visitors to the complex and beyond.

The building is OMA’s first commission from a religious institution, and the firm’s first cultural building in California. The design team is based in OMA’s New York Office, and is led by Shohei Shigematsu.

  • About Audrey Irmas Pavilion

    Named Audrey Irmas Pavilion for its lead donor, the new building will be entirely privately funded. Audrey Irmas, philanthropist, art collector, native Angeleno, and long-time congregant of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, kicked-off the fundraising campaign with the lead gift of $30 million, which was generated through the high-profile sale at Sotheby’s of her Cy Twombly painting, Untitled [New York City], 1968, a seminal example of the artist’s celebrated series of ‘Blackboard’ paintings. The painting was auctioned off on November 11, 2015 fetching $70.5 million, $30 million of which was donated to Wilshire Boulevard Temple. The gift is among the largest single donations to a temple in the United States.

  • Capital Campaign

    To date, the Temple has raised $55 million toward the estimated $75 million budget for the new building. The prominent philanthropists who have contributed gifts of seven figures or more to the Pavilion capital campaign are: Bunny Wasser and Howard Bernstein, Eli and Edythe Broad, Erika Glazer, Vera and Paul Guerin, Audrey Irmas, Bruce and Lilly Tartikoff Karatz, the Trudy Mandel Louis Charitable Trust, Lance and Hillary Milken Foundation, the Crown/Robinson Family, the Steven F. Roth Family Foundation, and The Werner Family Foundation.

  • Architectural Selection Committee 

    Beginning with an initial list of 25 architectural firms, four internationally acclaimed firms were invited to submit proposals as part of the architectural competition, juried by a committee. The firms included Kengo Kuma and Associates, Morphosis Architects, Steven Holl Architects, in addition to OMA. The selection committee was comprised of Temple members and contemporary art and architecture experts, including Dr. Rebecka Belldegrun, Eli Broad, Barry Edwards, Erika Glazer, Tara Lynda Guber, Robert S. Harris, Dana Hutt, Bruce Karatz, Martha Karsh, Richard Koshalek, Steven Leder, Anthony Pritzker, Steven Romick, Steven Roth, and Lauren Taschen.

  • The Building Lives Campaign

    Audrey Irmas Pavilion is a key component of the Temple’s Building Lives Campaign, a three-phase master plan for Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s historic campus in the core of Los Angeles. The Temple’s Erika J. Glazer Family Campus spans the entire city block on Wilshire Boulevard between Harvard and Hobart Avenues in Koreatown, an ethnically and religiously diverse area of Los Angeles. The first phase of the plan was the 2013 renovation of the 1929 historic, Byzantine-Revival Sanctuary, which was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. The recently completed second phase includes two of the city’s most state-of-the-art school buildings housing the Temple’s early childhood education center, elementary school and religious school, a four-story, 500-car parking structure, a 31,000 square foot rooftop sports complex, and the Karsh Family Social Service Center, through which the congregation offers free dental care, vision care, food security, legal aid services and counseling services in Spanish, Korean and English to its neighbors in need. The third phase will be the OMA-designed Audrey Irmas Pavilion.


    One of the country’s most highly respected congregations, Wilshire Boulevard Temple has been responding to the needs of the Los Angeles Jewish community since its founding in 1862 as Congregation B’nai B’rith. Today, Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s members are deeply involved in the civic life of Los Angeles. In addition to its Erika Glazer Family Campus in Koreatown, the Temple has a campus in West Los Angeles with schools and a variety of community programs, and its Camps and Conference Center in Malibu, CA, where it runs a summer program for more than 900 children. Both the Koreatown and West Los Angeles campuses have early childhood centers, elementary schools, religious schools, inspiring worship, social justice and cultural programming for adults. The residential camps and conference center in Malibu are utilized by a variety of schools, organizations, and community programs throughout the year.

  • ABOUT OMA / OMA New York

    OMA is a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism and cultural analysis. OMA was founded by Rem Koolhaas and maintains offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha, and Brisbane. Established in 2001, OMA New York has overseen the completion of the Seattle Central Library, the IIT Campus Center, the Prada New York Epicenter and Milstein Hall at Cornell University. Shohei Shigematsu is a Partner at OMA and has led the firm’s diverse portfolio in the Americas over the last decade. His engagements in cultural venues include an extension to the National Art Museum of Quebec; the Faena Forum, a multi-purpose venue in Miami Beach; an extension to the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York and the extension to the New Museum in New York City. Sho also designed exhibitions for Prada, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Park Avenue Armory. For more information, please visit or find us on social media – Facebook (OMAAMO) and Instagram (@OMANewYork). For press inquiries, please contact


    Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) – Architectural Designers
    OMA is a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism and cultural analysis.  OMA was founded by Rem Koolhaas and maintains offices around the globe. Shohei Shigematsu is a partner at OMA and has led the firm’s diverse portfolio in the Americas over the last decade.

    Gruen Associates – Executive Architect
    Gruen Associates succeeds as one of Los Angeles’ best known legacy firms with a deep portfolio of landmark projects.  Innovators for significant, complex and challenging projects, Gruen Associates have won more than 250 awards for their collaborative practice, a portfolio of over 10,000 projects worldwide, and has played a and pivotal role in mentoring future generations of professionals.

    Studio-MLA – Landscape Architect
    Studio-MLA is a leader in design and advocating for landscapes that inspire human connection, cultural expression and reverence for nature through landscape architecture, urbanism and planning.  The Audrey Irmas Pavilion will share landscape typologies found within Israel and Southern California, highlighting the bond between the two iconic Mediterranean places.

    ARUP – Structural/Façade
    Arup have spent over 70 years refining their approach to building design, always searching for a unity of concept, form, user experience and sustainable use of materials.  Their collaborative ethos and breadth of multidisciplinary thinking enables them to produce some of the world’s most ambitious and highest performing buildings.

    L’Observatoire International – Lighting Design
    L’Observatoire provides lighting design to a range of spatial expressions including museums, performing arts centers, and concert halls among other areas.  To account for such a cross-section of programmatic and geographically specific requirements, they have developed a rigorously contextual and individualized approach to lighting design.

    Rhyton Engineering – Civil Engineering
    Rhyton Engineering is a civil engineering firm established in 2000. They provide civil engineering design and related consulting service to architects and developers involved with residential development,
    commercial development and public improvement projects, in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.

    Theatre DNA – Theater Space, Planning, AV and Acoustics
    Theatre DNA focuses on supporting and enhancing the experience of anyone who visits, performs in, or manages the many different spaces they help design; they assist those who work on the design of a project—architects, engineers, and contractors—to translate the language of performing arts into their designs and construction. They then translate back to the artists, helping them navigate the unique world of architecture, the building trades, and the construction process.

    Venue – Cost Consulting
    Venue has served orchestras, dance and ballet companies, opera, fine arts, museum and other arts/cultural groups around the globe.

    Syska Hennessey Group - Vertical Transportation
    Syska Hennessy Group is the leading global, full-service MEP, information and communication technology (ICT) and commissioning engineer for the government and commercial sectors.

    Laschober & Sovich – Food & Beverage
    Laschober+Sovich is one of the nation’s leading professional design and consulting firms devoted exclusively to serving all segments of the food service industry. They have been experts for over 50 years in the design of functional installations and systems for efficient holding, preparation, processing and handling of food and beverages for a wide variety of projects throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

    TRC – Security
    TRC’s approach to security planning and design balances physical, operational and technological solutions. TRC's strong reputation for developing security programs, understanding client’s needs and expectations will offer the Temple a comprehensive plan for defensive strategies custom designed to fit our needs.

    Space Agency - Signage & Wayfinding
    Space Agency is an experience design agency based in London and working globally. Combining expertise in architecture and urban design with wayfinding and graphic communication they create places that are seamless and intuitive.

    Byer Geotechnical – Soils & Geology
    Byer Geotechnical provides professional services, specializing in geotechnical engineering and engineering geology consultations.

    Davison Associates Inc. – Specifications
    Davison Associates specializes in the management of building information for construction through providing high quality specifications for architectural firms.



Glazer Campus
3663 Wilshire Boulevard · Los Angeles, CA 90010
Irmas Campus
11661 W. Olympic Boulevard · Los Angeles CA 90064

© 2018 Wilshire Boulevard Temple