The project, first reported by the L.A. Times and called 670 Mesquit, is planned to contain 800,000 square feet of office space, 250 residential units, and two specialty hotels. The project is being developed by Vella Group and will aim to inject an element of public outdoor space into the previously-industrial neighborhood by proposing a large-scale deck connecting the site with the Los Angeles River. The proposed structures and the river are currently separated from one another by a depressed railway interchange along the longest edge of the site.
BIG’s proposal is organized within a gridded concrete superstructure running in three directions. Each bay of the superstructure measures 45 feet on each side and contains elements of programming that are intended to be customized by the final tenants as either housing or office space. The size of the frame will allow these users to have a say in how the spaces within are filled in, whether with interior mezzanine levels or fully-built out levels. Certain bays in the development are left open and will act as public passageways aimed at connecting the ground floor retail areas with the proposed river-bound walkway, L.A. River, and surrounding neighborhood. When these passages occur in the project, according to renderings released by the firm, they cut through an entire bay each time, effectively creating three separate buildings strung together by the concrete armature. The resulting masses step either out or in, depending on the tower block, forming ziggurat-or Breuer-inspired massings.
The development will contain 41 affordable units, roughly 16-percent of the overall total, with the rest being priced at market-rate.
The development marks BIG’s first commission in Los Angeles and is one of a recent crop of California-located schemes that include offices for Google in Northern California with Thomas Heatherwick and a mixed-use complex in San Francisco.