Converting a 1960s Brutalist building into a fashionable concrete paradise has become all the rage in the hotel industry. Sydell Group’s recent incarnation, The Line Hotel, is the best kind of Cinderella story. This rags to riches tale sees trendy LA designer, Sean Knibb of Knibb Design, turn this mid-century building in LA’s Korea town into an urban delight. Stripping it back, accentuating its qualities and giving it star power.
It’s a classic LA Story, and yet Knibb disassociated it from the movie industry and celebrity, instead drawing inspiration from the beach, the mountains and the city. Knibb and his team were determined to use as much of the existing structure as possible. The concept was to ‘re-purpose’ taking materials that would not normally be considered as luxurious and improving them through substitution.
Each standard room is roughly 300 square foot, but the floor to ceiling windows exposing expansive city views counteract the tight quarters. The walls are lined with customised wallpaper created by Astek and based on a photo Knibb took of the original exposed concrete walls. The beds have desks as headboards to maximise space and give the guest a large commanding workspace or an area to store their things. Every room has a chair upholstered in vintage Mexican serape, a painted coffee table with a cityscape built from books, an angular lamp created by Knibb design and a photo collage by Kevin Hanley entitled ‘Voyeuristic Landscapes’. The bathrooms are white tiled, accented with bleached ash wood and gold fixtures. The result is a stripped back aesthetic, creating a mood of mid-century minimalism.
Commissary, one of the hotel’s restaurants, is housed in a glass structure. Lighting is cleverly fixed to eucalyptus branches and long pine-topped tables inspired by Edwin Lutyen complete the scene.
Knibb’s fascination for re-purposing otherwise humble materials is continued in Pot (another onsite restaurant run by acclaimed chef Roy Choi), where he adds texture by fashioning a ceiling treatment from t-shirts.
Knibb has a quiet and open approach to design, beginning with an awareness of what a space needs. The Line Hotel triumphantly showcases a passion for celebrating the undervalued in the urban environment. We’re offered a classic 1960’s Brutalist building, successfully adapted to contemporary design sensibilities, while preserving its authentic industrial charm.
Photos via Knibb Design www.knibbdesign.com