Venice Japanese Community Center Builds on Strengths

How can you add more beauty to an already beautiful community ? Get more smart green space to build community. Cuningham Group Architecture is the designer for new additions to The Venice Japanese Community Center (VJCC), at 12448 Braddock Drive, Los Angeles, 90066. The Venice Japanese Community Center has served its community for more than 75 years, providing a gathering place and offering a variety of classes and services. The VJCC commissioned Cuningham Group to update its facility to better accommodate existing programs and the expansion of its popular martial arts program.

The new two-phase design includes renovations and additions to the existing 20,755-square-foot facility. The recently completed Phase One includes a striking martial arts space constructed with precision concrete masonry, steel, and exposed wood surfaces, and a wide variety of site improvements. Phase Two, which is currently being planned, will include replacement of the one-story wood-framed building housing classrooms and offices with a new two-story masonry building.

The design team worked to integrate sustainable features such as optimum solar orientation and heat-gain control, minimum 15-foot candles evenly distributing ambient daylighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, wood flooring from managed forest material, minimal air conditioning, natural cross-ventilation and extensive drought-tolerant site planting. Other design considerations include disabled access improvements and the inclusion of a foundation system suitable for soil subject to seismic liquefaction.

The VJCC  began by offering Judo and Japanese language classes. Today, more than 30 clubs, classes and activities reflect the diverse interests of its members in both the Japanese and American cultures, ranging from traditional arts, such as calligraphy, flower arranging, and martial arts to contemporary activities including basketball, volleyball and line dancing. The center also provides hot lunches for the seniors, supports a Boy Scout Troop, and serves as an election polling place.

The heart of the VJCC is its membership. Each member has a special and vital role. The center draws its strength from its members and is not just for children and seniors, but for the entire family. The Venice Japanese Community Center invites you to become a member to help pass on the values and heritage of your generation to the next, and perhaps learn something about yourself in the process.

(Domo Arigato VJCC and Cuningham Group)


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