Room with a view

Los Angeles approves massive two-tower City Center development

Architecture Newsletter West
Gensler, Steinberg,
 and Hazens Real Estate Group have released new renderings for the LA City complex in Downtown Los Angeles. (Courtesy Shenzhen Hazens Real Estate Group)
Gensler, Steinberg, and Hazens Real Estate Group have released new renderings for the LA City complex in Downtown Los Angeles. (Courtesy Shenzhen Hazens Real Estate Group)

Steinberg Architects, Gensler, and developer Shenzhen Hazens Real Estate Group have released a new batch of renderings depicting a slew of design changes for their $700 million L.A. City Center project, a two-tower luxury development planned for Downtown Los Angeles that was recently approved by L.A.’s City Planning Commission.

New designs for the complex feature a larger public shopping plaza.(Courtesy Shenzhen Hazens Real Estate Group)

The new renderings depict the latest iteration of a continually-changing project that has morphed from a three-tower complex into one containing only two spires. Previous schemes showed a collection of 32-, 34-, and 38-story towers clustered over an eight-story parking podium. The new images depict a pair of towers, one 29 stories tall, the other rising 49 floors.

The 29-story tower, which sits on the southern corner of the site, will contain a 300-key hotel operated by W Hotels and will be designed by Gensler. The 49-story edifice, designed by Steinberg, will contain 435 condominium units. The scheme has also jettisoned the parking podium connecting the towers. Parking will now be located underground and a shorter podium structure filled with hotel public amenities, commercial spaces, and a hotel spa will ground the towers instead. Like several other developments in the quickly-changing area, the L.A. City Center’s base will be wrapped with massive LED displays.

The plaza’s tree-lined spaces will be wrapped in retail areas that extend along Figueroa Street.
(Courtesy Shenzhen Hazens Real Estate Group)

Both towers have grown significantly more conservative in their massing and articulation throughout the design review process. Gone are the towers’ soaring pitched roofs, angled articulated massing, and vertically-oriented patterning. Instead, the towers now feature minimally-broken curtain wall facades, vertically-oriented setbacks, and expressed floorplates.

A previous version of the project featured three towers with 650 total housing units. (Courtesy Shenzhen Hazens Real Estate Group)

AHBE Landscape Architects is designing the project’s open spaces along the parking podium and at street level, as well as each of the tower’s rooftop amenity deck areas.

The complex will contain 5,000 square feet of retail functions along the ground level organized along a public shopping plaza fronting Figueroa Street. When compared with previous iterations of the project, the plaza space appears to have been enlarged and deepened, with less LED screen coverage than previously designed. The plaza’s central area will be dotted with trees that extend along the sidewalk in paired sets.

Overall view of L.A.
Center complex. (Courtesy Shenzhen Hazens Real Estate Group)

According to Urbanize.LA, the first phase of the multi-phase project will construct the hotel tower, with the residential component following after an existing hotel structure on the site is cleared.

The complex will add to the ever-growing set of construction cranes in the area. Construction crews are currently wrapping up work on the Harley Ellis Devereaux-designed Circa Towers located nearby and partway through construction on the Oceanwide Center complex by Gensler.

A final timeline for the L.A. City Center project has not been announced.

Related Stories