About TOLO Architecture / Peter Tolkin + Sarah Lorenzen Architecture
Principals Peter Tolkin and Sarah Lorenzen—working under the moniker TOLO—guide the design of a variety of project types at various scales throughout Southern California. The firm’s portfolio of built projects includes single and multi-family housing, mixed-use and retail, restaurants and hotels, and arts-based projects such as gallery spaces and large-scale installations. TOLO Architecture is located in a large industrial warehouse the firm renovated at the nexus of the Arts District, Little Tokyo and Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. This space, which includes a fabrication shop, allows TOLO to test design ideas by means of prototypes and scale models. Since 2000, when Peter first founded the practice (Sarah joined in 2015), the firm’s projects have been frequently cited for their inventiveness and accomplished craftsmanship in design awards and in publications.
TOLO’s designs draw from the rich material and cultural conditions that characterize the world we live in. As a collection, the work is idiosyncratic given that each design strives to respond to the particularities of place and that the firm’s clients are engaged as active participants. Rather than conceiving of TOLO’s architectural role as solely inventors of form, Sarah and Peter also see themselves as documentarians: interpreters of dynamic relationships and situations. Each project begins with an understanding of the project’s backstory. From here TOLO develops a broad design brief that incorporates client and site narratives, along with relevant material and aesthetic references (be they from the high arts or from popular culture). This method of working allows TOLO to combine an interest in form and geometry with a project’s contextual and cultural reality in an architecture that is representative of our complex lives.
LOCATION: Los Angeles, California
LEARN MORE: toloarchitecture.com