Harmony and Understanding
Craig Kellogg -- Interior Design, 5/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
firm:yazdani studio of cannon design
site: los angeles
Don't be a hater. Four simple words sum up the message at the Museum of Tolerance, operated by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. A 34,000-square-foot renovation of the museum by Cannon Design's Yazdani Studio increases nuance and meaning for 300,000 annual visitors.
In the museum's existing main theater, Mehrdad Yazdani eliminated the middle aisle and moved the audience toward the stage. The top-notch sound system is geared toward hosting movie premieres, and Yazdani pumped up the glamour factor by draping the walls with aluminum mesh, washed with LEDs. A smaller theater, where visitors view an orientation film, features a wall treatment of earthy gray stacked felt.
To brighten the lobby outside, Yazdani built a canopy of fritted glass panels and installed fluorescent linear fixtures behind. In one gallery, the Youth Action Lab, 8-foot-tall light boxes display monumental close-ups of figures such as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Because the light boxes can pivot 90 degrees, it's easy for curators to change the character of the space.
As the leader of an admirably multicultural design team, the Iranian-born Yazdani is quite quotable on the topic: "The notion of tolerance and the ability to create harmony among diverse points of view are things that I've always cherished."