Friday, July 17, 2009 | Jennifer Luce, a Canadian-born architect, has based her firm, Luce et Studio, in San Diego for nearly two decades. She recently mounted highlights from that work for an exhibit featuring a handful of esteemed local architects and designers: Mix, showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla until Sept. 6.
Her studio designed Extraordinary Desserts in Little Italy and oversaw the renovation of George’s at the Cove, a La Jolla restaurant, to George’s California Modern. She designed new workspaces and studios for Nissan’s design teams here and in Michigan. The studio just finished a project for Disney in L.A., she says.
These are typical clients — artists, art institutions, creative people, she says. Even an investment firm contracted with Luce to design their new offices. Luce says artists are the voice of our culture, expressing issues, angst and aspirations — work that she says is often evident in current art in juxtapositions between old and new, historical and contemporary.
And in that juxtaposition she found inspiration in East Village.
Luce bought a loft to house her studio there in 2001, a space that had housed the machine shop for the Carnation milk factory in 1927. The building had been made into artist housing in the 1970s and 1980s. Luce moved her studio in to the urban space.
While her team grew to number more than a dozen in the loft, the neighborhood grew up around them. Petco Park came in, as did condo towers and parking garages. The construction brought with it noise, and so she moved her studio to Pacific Beach.