WRAPPED Fine Art provides museum-quality works of custom art for the residential, corporate, financial, and hospitality industries. The artwork is brought to life by a highly skilled and incredibly talented team of in-house artists, working in a complete range of styles and media. Work produced at WRAPPED Fine Art graces the homes of royal families and prestigious collectors, and can be found on the walls of some of the world’s most luxurious and exclusive properties.

WRAPPED created the extraordinary artwork on display at Deco, setting the mood for the luxury, designer living experience that younger tenants are looking for.

 

Please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Fellow co-founder Ryland and I met as freshmen at Pomona College. We formed an instant friendship and determined early in our college careers that we wanted to go into business together upon graduating with degrees in economics. I’ve had an interest in architecture since I was a young child and wanted to incorporate my passion for design into the business. Ryland, a lifelong artist, is the son of painter Charles Arnoldi. He grew up in an art studio, mixing paints, stretching canvases, and creating works of art since he was a very young child. Ry and I agreed that art and design had to be the core foundation of the company that eventually evolved into WRAPPED Studios. We spent a year after college traveling around the world, studying different cultures and traditions. We’re avid surfers, outdoorsmen and adventurers, sharing a quintessential California aesthetic that evolved with travel and time to encompass an international sensibility. We came home from our travels, rolled up our sleeves, and built WRAPPED Studios.  

 

Tell us about your artistic concept for Deco. What was your approach and inspiration?

We teamed with the client to bring the history of Long Beach to life. We took the evolving neighborhood, proximity to the shore, and historic pier all into consideration. Ultimately, we created artwork that is a tribute to the landscape over the years. Through abstract interpretations of the scenic coastline, pier, and beachgoers, the environment at Deco becomes more engaging and impactful for tenants and guests alike. 

 

What is your personal artistic philosophy? Do you have a favorite artist? What are your influences?

WRAPPED is a studio that merges the traditional world of visual arts with cutting edge technology to create compelling original works. Our site-specific works are designed to deliver an immersive experience, while exploring the crossover between art and technology. Drawing upon the culture, architecture, and identity of the space, our custom artwork strives to complement the people living and interacting with it on a daily basis. By embracing the newest technologies, tools and mediums, we aim to create original and compelling artwork that brings joy and wonder into the everyday experience, democratizing the experience of fine art. Some favorite artists who share a similar approach include Wade Guyton, Gerhard Richter and Damien Hirst.

 

It’s great to pursue your passion, but we know it’s not always easy. Tell us about your challenges and successes.

I think we serve a very specialized niche catering to high-end, design-focused clients. Lots of developers are not as focused on the aesthetics of a project, so when we first started working with Ensemble, we were thrilled that they put such a high value on the art and design that goes into each of their projects.

 

What are you most proud of as a company, and what sets you apart?

As part of the next generation of art consultants, our progressive process transforms a client’s vision into a dynamic, tailored and installed art plan. While our patent pending process lends itself to spectacularly massive art installations and videos, the highly custom nature of our business ensures each space in a property is inhabited by artwork that is perfectly suited for it. From static artwork on canvas, aluminum, or under glass, to licenses for textiles and carpets; experiential/way-finding artwork expressed by hand-painted murals and wall coverings; and  video artwork for screens as small as a TV to the length of a football field; WRAPPED Studios creates artwork that is as contagious as it is pedigreed.

 

Let’s get out the crystal ball – what does the future hold and what are your next steps?

With the explosion of LED screens in buildings and on city streets all over the world, the age of digital/video art has truly arrived. Moving forward, we’re particularly excited about creating vibrant, dynamic, hi-resolution video artwork in the WRAPPED tradition of unparalleled quality and innovation. Our work is site-specific, formatted to fill LED screens and other digital installations with our unique attention to detail and revolutionary designs.

 

If you lived in a parallel universe, what would you be doing?

Living my best life as a bulldog!

 

What do you love about Long Beach? Do you have a favorite neighborhood? What do you enjoy doing when you’re there?

I love that you can simultaneously connect with the history of Long Beach while also watching it’s transformation when you’re there. As a company with roots in Southern California, it’s a pleasure working on a project that hits close to home, not only in proximity, but also in artistic direction. Downtown Long Beach is definitely a favorite neighborhood because it encapsulates the heart of Long Beach and is at the center of the city’s transformation. Another favorite is Belmont Shore, a quaint and quintessential SoCal beach town.

 

 

 

All images courtesy of WRAPPED Fine Art

 

Contact Info: Jen Mehranvary or Sam Seidman

Business Address: 333 Indiana Ave. Venice CA 90291

Website:  wrappedla.com 

Email: jen@wrappedla.com or sam.seidman@wrappedla.com

Instagram: @wrappedla

Facebook: @wrappedLA

Twitter: @WrappedLA

 

Deco blog celebrates entrepreneurs, creatives, business leaders, and other influencers who are making an impact in Long Beach. These amazing people share their inspiring stories in their own voice, and give a personal perspective on what makes our community such a great place to work, live and play.

This story is the second in a two-part feature on Studio T-Square (Studio T-SQ), an award-winning team of architects, designers, and urban planners with offices in Long Beach and Oakland, California. As responsible stewards of the environment, Studio T-SQ is dedicated to the principles of smart growth, transit-oriented development, and sustainable design. Studio T-SQ created the bold exterior architecture and thoughtful urban planning for Deco.

 

Today we’re talking to Chris Bystedt, Director of Architecture at Studio T-SQ, who will share his insights on the architectural design process. As Director of Architecture, Chris oversees the technical application of each project, ensuring quality documentation.

 

Please share your story with us.  How did you get to where you are today?

I received my architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame and spent a year in the Rome Studies program. After graduation I spent the next 27 months volunteering as the Director of Construction and Maintenance at an orphanage, school, and medical clinic in a small village on the north coast of Honduras. I have spent most of my career in the mixed-use and multi-family residential market with some side ventures for nonprofits, like volunteering with Architecture for Humanity in San Francisco and researching slum developments with the Environmental Planning Collaborative in Ahmedabad, India. I was one of the first few employees hired in the Studio T-SQ Oakland office and spent seven years living in the Bay Area. I have moved back to Southern California and have been working in the Studio T-SQ Long Beach office since January of 2017.

 

Tell us about the architectural design process for Deco. What was your theme and inspiration?

My role at Deco was mainly to oversee that the Studio T-SQ design team’s vision was successfully implemented during construction. A lot of changes and surprises can happen once the construction phase begins, so our goal is to be flexible and creative. During the construction phase, designing takes on a different level of challenges and constraints, since elements may have already been partially built. The city wants the same product, but the budget doesn’t change. It takes a different form of creativity to manage the many existing constraints, but it is also important to frequently look back at the original vision of the project for inspiration.

 

You have an impressive background in project management, including feasibility, entitlements, construction documents, and construction administration. How did you apply your technical expertise to Deco?

I love all aspects of architecture from the first “napkin sketch” to the move-in date and beyond. It is impressive to see the number of people involved in making a project like Deco perform at such a high level. With a background in all of the project phases, I have learned to rely on my team members for their expertise and to work collaboratively with the city, contractor, and developer as one team. I always approach construction as a series of smaller design charrettes.

 

What is your personal design philosophy? Do you have a favorite architect or building? What are your influences?

My education was primarily in classical architecture and traditional urbanism. I studied architecture under a strict standard of proportion, order, and human scale. However, my experience in multi-family residential has always been to push the envelope of design. I am inspired by Irving Gill’s simplicity with the use of multiple planes and the ornate beauty and order of Julia Morgan’s work.

 

Where do you see the role of the architect in affecting positive global change? How can smart design improve the environment and quality of life for humanity?

In my opinion, the role of the architect is to build community, to create harmony with nature, and to be responsible stewards of our natural resources. By focusing on these values, architects are pushed to use time-tested planning and design concepts to design beautiful, walkable cities that create a sense of place and instill pride in one’s city. But architects must also strive to utilize the latest technologies to eliminate waste and responsibly integrate the built environment into the natural surroundings.

 

It’s great to pursue your passion, but we know it’s not always easy. Tell us about your challenges and successes.

My biggest challenge is that I have so many interests and passions under the umbrella of architecture that it is tough to focus on one single aspect. An architect is truly a “Jack of all trades, but master of none.” But this keeps life interesting. Every project is a new beginning with new design challenges and learning experiences. Our office has many talented people who have come from different backgrounds. If I get stuck with a design challenge, chances are that someone in our office has dealt with a similar issue along the way.

 

What are you most proud of as a company, and what sets you apart?

I am so proud of how dedicated our staff is –  to do the right thing in order to create a quality project for the community. Sometimes that means taking the unpopular approach. Sometimes it also requires educating ourselves and other project stakeholders. We take a lot of pride in Long Beach since we are local, but we extend that pride out to the other Southern California communities that we serve.

 

What do you love about Long Beach?  Do you have a favorite neighborhood?  What do you enjoy doing when you’re there?

I love exploring Long Beach and getting to know it better. Right now, I spend a lot of my time walking in the East Village Arts District. There is so much to take in, and I enjoy all of the murals.

 

Deco

Image courtesy of  Studio T-SQ

 

Chris and family on vacation in Joshua Tree National Park

Image courtesy of Chris Bystedt

 

Business Address: 115 Pine Ave #425, Long Beach, CA 90802

Website: studiot-sq2.com

Email: jwaldron@studiot-sq.com

Facebook: @studiotsq

Twitter: @studiotsq

 

Deco blog celebrates entrepreneurs, creatives, business leaders, and other influencers who are making an impact in Long Beach. These amazing people share their inspiring stories in their own voice, and give a personal perspective on what makes our community such a great place to work, live and play.

We’re excited to present a two-part feature on Studio T-Square (Studio T-SQ), an award-winning team of architects, designers, and urban planners with offices in Long Beach and Oakland, California. As responsible stewards of the environment, Studio T-SQ is dedicated to the principles of smart growth, transit-oriented development, and sustainable design. Studio T-SQ created the bold exterior architecture and thoughtful urban planning for Deco.

 

Today we’re talking to Henry Tong, AIA, NCARB, Principal at Studio T-SQ, who will share his unique perspective on architecture and urban design, and explain how smart planning can help build communities on a human scale. Henry was a pioneer in the architectural application of computer graphics, with extensive knowledge in the integration of computer graphics software into all areas of architectural design.

 

Please share your story with us.  How did you get to where you are today?

I have worked as an architect for over 25 years since my graduation from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. I started working in California in 1997. Our company, Studio T-SQ, was founded ten years ago in Oakland by Chek Tang and Chris Lee. John Waldron and I founded Studio T-SQ in Long Beach five years ago to serve the Southern California cities.

 

Tell us about your design concept for Deco. What was your theme and inspiration?

Looking at Long Beach’s architectural heritage, I decided to use the Mid-Century modern design theme as a way to compliment the adjacent office building, which was completed in the late 1960s. The roof deck and the general massing of the building was intended to recall a cruise ship, with the long horizontal balconies and the large roof deck.

 

Studio T-SQ deploys smart planning and transit-oriented projects to build and reinforce communities. How did you apply these principles to Deco?

Deco was intended to complete the 444 W. Ocean Campus by bringing together retail (play), commercial (work) and residential (live) functions into one coherent urban design concept. We also tied the separate lots together to achieve the necessary residential density on one small ½ acre lot.

 

What is your personal design philosophy? Do you have a favorite architect or building? What are your influences?

My personal design philosophy is Modernism on a human scale. Norman Foster and Alvar Aalto are the two architects that I admire the most. Their architecture is what inspires me to design modern buildings with a human and contextual scale.

 

You were a pioneer in the architectural application of computer graphics. How have these technologies changed the design environment? 

Studio-TSQ is a relatively young firm. Early on, we decided to work exclusively in the BIM (Building Information Modeling) environment. This allows us to collaborate with our team members and consultants in different locations. As a result, we can bring together the best talent we can find, while working seamlessly in a “virtual” design environment.  

 

It’s great to pursue your passion, but we know it’s not always easy. Tell us about your challenges and successes.

One of our greatest challenge currently is finding talented staff. Due to our expertise in BIM, we can work with staff located in China, Puerto Rico and Oakland. Through technology, our company has leveraged the talent needed to complete several award winning projects.

 

What are you most proud of as a company, and what sets you apart?

I am most proud of the talented staff we have in the company. Their commitment to innovation and passion is what sets us apart from other firms.

 

What do you love about Long Beach?  Do you have a favorite neighborhood?  What do you enjoy doing when you’re there?

I see Long Beach as a partner in our projects. There is a lot of rich cultural heritage that we can draw from in this city. My favorite neighborhoods are Belmont Shore and Naples. I just like walking around and photographing the people and public spaces.

 

Deco Exterior

Image courtesy of Studio T-SQ

 

Deco Aerial

Image courtesy of Studio T-SQ

 

Deco Night Shot

Image courtesy of Studio T-SQ

 

Henry Tong with wife Christine in Jerusalem.

Image courtesy of Henry Tong

 

Business Address: 115 Pine Ave #425, Long Beach, CA 90802

Website: studiot-sq2.com  

Email: jwaldron@studiot-sq.com

Facebook: @studiotsq

Twitter: @studiotsqarc

 

Deco blog celebrates entrepreneurs, creatives, business leaders, and other influencers who are making an impact in Long Beach. These amazing people share their inspiring stories in their own voice, and give a personal perspective on what makes our community such a great place to work, live and play.