At Omgivning, we breathe new life into urban spaces. We are placemakers and creative problem-solvers, designing work that brings people together amid warmth and vitality.
In Swedish, the word omgivning translates to “the way a space feels.” Our firm is rooted in a love for the extraordinary urban fabric of downtown Los Angeles. We started this firm in 2009, as the recession was threatening to halt downtown’s resurgence. Our mission was to bring DTLA from disuse to purpose, by carving new, programmatically rich spaces from old high-rises, warehouses, theaters, department stores and more. Today, our studio has grown to occupy an entire floor of an old tower in downtown’s Historic Core, and we are extending our revitalization capacities to neighborhoods much farther afield. Our architecture and interior-design portfolio now has over 250 projects, from small local cafes to a two-million SF historic landmark. We design new hotels, creative offices, multi-family housing, restaurants, bars, theaters, and custom furniture for projects by us and by others.
The backbone of our design process comes from an insistent focus on two scales: the human and the urban.
As humanists, we celebrate the details that give meaning to our lives. Texture, form, color, time, and light are subtle cues for engagement. Together, they tie us to a space and to our neighbors, and invite us to experience the pleasures of eating, living, and working. And as urbanists, we see our projects as points in a larger network of social and cultural activity. Through deep local connections and collaborative methods, we amplify local histories, support current uses, and enable future traditions and objectives. Our core goal as designers is to encourage the interplay of these human and urban scales.
Complementing our design approach, we possess an agile, highly specialized understanding of the complex rules governing work on new or existing and often historic structures. Our understanding of today’s codes—to say nothing of budgeting, process, and construction—helps clients attain their fullest vision for each space.
As our impact deepens, we’ve expanded our staff, careful to hire only thoughtful, sociable people skilled in grappling with the forces that shape today’s cities. Our 30+ architects and interior designers feed into a robust office culture in which knowledge-sharing helps fulfill our goals for the places we love. People work at Omgivning because they value shared experience—whether they’re inside the office, down the street, or anywhere in the world.