wHY designs Frieze Los Angeles tent at Paramount Studios location

wHY designs Frieze Los Angeles tent at Paramount Studios location

The inaugural Frieze Los Angeles kicks off with a new indoor and outdoor tent design by local architecture studio wHY. Pitching up at Paramount Studios, Frieze’s new location in Hollywood celebrates the city’s creative eco-system, while the tent design brings in the Californian light and makes the most of the good weather with outdoor spaces and green walls.

‘We basically surgically insert the tent into a working busy film studio,’ says Kulapat Yantrasast, founder and creative director at wHY, and a Los Angeles resident since 2003. He wanted to create the effect of being backstage, and reflect the ‘less rigid’ art scene of LA, in comparison to other contemporary art hub cities.

frieze los angeles tent

Green outdoor space at Frieze LA. Photography: Yoshihiro Makino

A pink banner afloat two archways wrapped in faux-foliage welcomes you to the fair. The structure is a reference to the Paramount Studios’ famous double arch entrance on Melrose Avenue. Yantrasast used plants throughout, real and artificial, to anchor the fair into its new climate. Inside the entry pavilion, blue-stained plywood is constructed using set-building techniques of the studio’s master production designers.

Being at an art fair is often like being in a fluorescently-lit black hole, where you lose all sense of time. Yet wHY’s opaque and translucent plastic ceiling panels bring in more daylight than ever before for an enjoyable viewing experience – and the gallerists’ wellbeing – for the week.

Entrance to the fair

Art displayed outside at the Paramount Studios set. Photography: Yoshihiro Makino

Indoor areas are balanced by outdoor spaces that feature open-air artworks by Sarah Cain, Paul McCarthy and Barbara Kruger amongst others. Los Angeles is after all blessed with more reliable forecasts than London or New York, where Frieze spends the rest of its year.

Before reaching your destination booth, you might also be tempted by cult eateries SQIRL and Roberta’s, both woven into the experience along the way. Building a pathway to guide visitors from pulling up at the curb to writing a cheque, was the main aim of Yantrasast – as Frieze Art Fair has continued to prove since its founding in 2003, the art fair can be a lively social and educational experience too. §

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