Mackey Apartments


Renovation of the Mackey Apartments
Los Angeles

Rather than statically preserving this historic building as a singular memory of its past life, our intention for the renovation of the Mackey Apartments (R.M. Schindler, 1939) embraces the concept of preservation through transformation. The renovation itself, responding to the new program of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, openly acknowledges the building’s new mission, accepting changes in information technology, program, and building use as well as providing an atmosphere that assists the visiting artists and support staff to work toward the production of contemporary art and architecture. Besides providing living quarters and studios for artists, the project houses the MAK Archives in the double-height penthouse apartment. The archives, which are run by a small staff, will occasionally host symposia and exhibitions of the artists’ work.

Project Credits:
Russell Thomsen, Eric Kahn, Ron Golan.
Photography: COA


About Russell Thomsen

A founding partner in the award winning Central Office of Architecture (COA, 1987-2008) and IDEA Office (2009-2014), Russell Thomsen formed RNThomsen Architecture in 2015. He has been a licensed architect since 1989. The office provides a full range of architectural services. In addition to directing the practice, Russell is also a senior design studio faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in downtown Los Angeles. The work of the office has been internationally recognized, exhibited and published. The office has received several awards including the Architectural League Prize and Emerging Voices, both from the Architectural League of New York, and the Best In American Architecture Award for the Saitama Residence.