News
01.28.2010
Team Hollywood
W Hollywood opens with contributions by slew of LA firms
Daly Genik's poolside cabana.
Courtesy Daly Genik

the hotel and condo development anchors Hollywood Boulevard's eastern flank.
courtesy daly genik
 
it departs from the clubby W mood, with a light-filled lobby and swarovski chandelier.
tim street porter


the residential portion features digitally machined slats of douglas fir.  
courtesy daly genik
 

The W Hollywood Hotel and Residences is finally scheduled to open tomorrow, dropping its hefty highrise anchor on the eastern flank of a revitalized Hollywood Boulevard. The $350 million development, by Gatehouse Capital and HEI Hotels & Resorts, brings 305 hotel rooms and 143 luxury residences to the neighborhood.

In a collaboration that Kevin Daly of Daly Genik Architects dubbed a “Venn diagram,” due to the way their contributions overlapped, a sizeable group of firms worked on the project, including LA architects like HKS Architects, Rios Clementi Hale Studios, Daly Genik, and Sussman/ Prejza; Portland, Oregon–based designstudio; and a trio of artists—Erwin Redl, Pae White, and Christian Moeller.

The hotel bucks previous style cues established by the W, well known for its clubby, violet-lit interiors. This W is sun-drenched and glamorous, featuring a dramatic circular lobby staircase with Swarovski crystals trailing down its center, by designstudio, developer Marty Collins, and a team of lighting designers.

“The amount of light here is definitely something that had to get carried through the project,” said Daly, who sourced warm, natural materials for the residential portion of the project, such as wave-like slats of computer-cut Douglas fir that cover lobby walls. On the rooftop residential pool, Daly Genik’s cabanas are walls of squared aluminum “scales.”

Elsewhere in the complex, HKS Architects and Rios Clementi Hale added exterior sheer glass walls to evoke the “silver screen,” including a glass-box nightclub 12 stories up that cantilevers 52 feet over Hollywood Boulevard.

Perhaps the most stunning contributions are public art pieces. Christian Moeller’s hunk of milled aluminum uses light and shadows to reveal a series of waving hands. Pae White’s mobile of painted metal circles will cascade down into a 12-story alcove, while Erwin Redl’s strings of LED lights drape into the auto plaza, lighting up like a disco ball.

At the epicenter of this boutique chic is an unusual amenity: A Metro Red Line subway station embedded within the courtyard. Rios Clementi Hale’s Frank Clementi said his team looked to the courtyards found in places like Grauman’s Chinese Theater for inspiration. Palms and bamboo create dramatic partitions in the space and contribute to the “filmic” quality of the plaza. “In order to be contextual in Hollywood, we had to be exotic,” he said.

Another nod to Hollywood history: A red carpet, made from a ground glass-impregnated aggregate, leads from the sidewalk through the lobby and into the auto courtyard. Other plaza finishes include black granite and a dusting of feldspar, which reference Hollywood Boulevard’s glittery terrazzo. “Folks should expect us to tastefully reinvent old Hollywood,” said Gatehouse Capital’s Collins. “And I think we did that."

Alissa Walker