Life isn't beginning at 40, but it's sure continuing with gusto at Gruen Associates, a Los Angeles-based firm founded in 1947.
For years Gruen was primarily thought of as a planning and engineering firm, but its architectural capabilities were quietly expanding, and now it is the architect, with I. M. Pei & Partners, for the $168-million expansion of the Los Angeles Convention Center, which is expected to be completed in 1991.
Gruen Associates is also involved in designing the $150-million expansion of the Pacific Design Center, with Cesar Pelli & Associates as design architect. The Phase 2 building is due to open next March.
Other projects are the $25-million Los Angeles Koreatown Plaza retail and commercial center, due to open in the fall, and the completed $100-million, 42-story California Plaza office tower and Museum of Contemporary Art, designed--respectively--by architects Arthur Erickson and Arata Isozaki with Gruen Associates as executive architect. Gruen Associates is entering its fifth decade with projects nearing $1 billion in construction volume under way or completed in the Los Angeles area alone, but the company also has projects as far away as Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Canada.