Search results for "hollywood"

Placeholder Alt Text

Los Angeles transformed this alley in North Hollywood into a polka dotted pedestrian plaza
The first project in LADOT's People Street program has opened in a former alley near corner of Magnolia and Lankershim Boulevards in North Hollywood. The project, called NoHo Plaza, has been repurposed with cafe tables, chairs, umbrellas, a colorful surface treatment (which looks almost exactly like the dotted green and gold surface of Silverlake's Sunset Triangle Plaza), and perimeter planters. People Streets allows community groups to partner with the city to make public spaces. Each project type—including parklets, plazas, and bicycle corrals—offers a preapproved kit of parts containing packaged configurations to choose from. NoHo's kit of parts was supplemented by technical design (road marking, signage, signals, etc) from LADOT. According to LA Streets Blog, the park cost only $57,000. The plaza is managed and maintained by the NoHo BID. Two more plazas are about to open in Leimert Park and Pacoima, while four parklets are set to open this summer throughout the city. According to LADOT Assistant Pedestrian Coordinator Valerie Watson, all of People Streets' inaugural projects are running ahead of schedule.
Placeholder Alt Text

Rios Clementi Hale’s IAC lattice tilts the traditional green roof on its side in West Hollywood
What's a cross between a green roof and a living wall? IAC, the company that brought you Frank Gehry's billowing building by the High Line in New York, is commissioning Rios Clementi Hale to "drape" its white brick building on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood with a six-story sculptural steel lattice—like a living roof turned 45 degrees— containing native plantings irrigated by recaptured underground water. Tall vertical troughs will protrude as much as 14 feet from the building face. At ground level a public space will be added to the building's entry plaza, fitted with steel-plated benches and bike racks. On the west side of the structure, the grid will flatten to become a green roof over a new restaurant. The installation's native plants will be chosen by Paul Kephart of planted roof specialists Rana Creek. At night the gridded structure will be lit from behind, so light will shine through the plants. The project, already under construction, is expected to be completed later this year. 
Placeholder Alt Text

Hollywood’s Freeway Cap Park Begins Environmental Review Process
[beforeafter] 4b-la-freeway-park 4a-la-freeway-park [/beforeafter]   We've been following Los Angeles' several proposed Freeway Cap Parks (in Downtown LA, Hollywood, and Santa Monica among other places) for years now, with a healthy amount of skepticism. But the first of these is (really? really!) moving toward reality. Friends of the Hollywood Central Park, a non-profit organizing a cap park over the 101 Freeway near the center of Hollywood, along with LA's Department of Recreation and Parks have begun the environmental review process for the transformative 38-acre space. The city of LA is now preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) (PDF) for the project, and the first public scoping meeting for the project will take place on September 6. The park, located about four miles northwest of Downtown LA and about 500 feet north of the 101's Hollywood Boulevard overpass, would be built on an engineered deck over the freeway. According to the Department of Recreation and Parks' Initial Study Analysis (PDF) the new highway cap park's uses would include: "landscaped open space, multi-purpose fields, active and passive pedestrian meadows, small retail facilities and kiosks (bike shops, seasonal markets, art galleries, etc.), restaurants, an amphitheater, a community center, plazas and terraces, water features, playgrounds, dog parks, and interactive community areas." The Friends of the Hollywood Central Park has said the draft EIR should be ready for public review by next spring. The bulk of funding for the EIR has included $1.2 million from the Aileen Getty Foundation and $825,000 from the City of Los Angeles. Of course funding for the park itself is still far off, but this is a major first step. [beforeafter] (Courtesy Friends of the Hollywood Central Park) (Courtesy Friends of the Hollywood Central Park) [/beforeafter]  
Placeholder Alt Text

Gensler Goes Hollywood with “Vertical Campus”
Hudson Pacific Properties is banking on the continued appeal of Hollywood office space with its Icon at Sunset Bronson Studios, a 14-story tower designed by Gensler. Targeting creative professionals, Icon reconfigured the suburban campus typology for an urban setting. Gensler associate Amy Pokawatana called the development a "vertical campus," blending "work, relaxation, and recreation." Part of a $150 million studio expansion, the project takes its cue from a six-story building the developer finished on the Sunset Gower Studios lot in 2008.  The building features five rectangular, stacked volumes, offset horizontally to create exterior terraces. The high-performance envelope alternates between glass curtain wall and precast panels to break down the scale and frame views to downtown LA, the Hollywood sign, and the Santa Monica Bay. In addition to providing outdoor green space on multiple floors, the design incorporates flexibility and connectivity. Large floor plates and connections between floors allow for both open and traditional office layouts, said Pokawatana. Icon is located near several historic Hollywood buildings, including its next-door neighbor, the Executive Office Building (EOB), once the headquarters of Warner Bros. The design is set back from Sunset Boulevard to provide views to the EOB, while the height of the tower’s first volume coincides with the older building’s eave-line. In addition, said Pokawatana, “White, precast, freestanding columns that front the tower are a modern nod to the historic colonnade on the EOB facade. Punched windows in the precast facade mimic the simple rhythm of the windows at the EOB.” Pokawatana is confident that her firm’s vertical campus concept answers the needs that once drew creative and tech offices away from the city center, combining the best of urban and campus buildings. “There is a shift in the way companies work today, and we are designing a building that can inspire, promote, and nurture this new paradigm," she said.
Placeholder Alt Text

Ball-Nogues Rethinks the Corner with a Silvery Halo in West Hollywood
A prominent corner in West Hollywood now wears an architectural halo. Tasked with designing a permanent installation for The Dylan, a new apartment building at Santa Monica Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, Ball-Nogues Studio decided to create "something that would serve as a kind of gateway to West Hollywood," according to Benjamin Ball. "Because we were going to work on this corner, we didn’t have very much real estate. We decided to think about the corner as though it was emanating a kind of supernatural force, something suggestive of some kind of metaphysical presence emanating from this banal corner of the building. Sort of like a glory that surrounds a relic’s figure in religious iconography, without the religious icon." Working closely with engineers Buro Happold, Ball-Nogues designed Corner Glory, a fan of mirror-polished stainless steel spikes arranged around a column of inset windows. "We looked at ways in which we could create...something that suggested aura or an energy field, or a solar flare," said Ball. The reflective surface, its individual components lined up as the teeth of a comb, gradually dematerializes as it projects out from the building. "It doesn’t have a strong edge in spite of being a solid material," explained Ball. Corner Glory, which was both fabricated and installed by Ball-Nogues Studio, is fully integrated with the structure of the building. The Dylan, developed by Monarch Builders and Essex Property Trust, is joined by a second Monarch-Essex development at Fountain and La Brea called The Huxley. (The buildings were named for writers Dylan Thomas and Aldous Huxley, respectively.) Newman Garrison + Partners designed both six-story buildings, which together cost more than $150 million. The Huxley, which has 187 units, opened March 15. The Dylan, with 184 units, is expected to open this summer.
Placeholder Alt Text

Hollywood Ending
Pedestrians walk along the lake.
Courtesy Mia Lehrer + Associates

At the end of December an era came quietly to an end in Los Angeles. Inglewood’s Hollywood Park, once one of the premier racetracks in the United States—it hosted famous horses like Seabiscuit and Seattle Slew—held its last race, closing its doors after more than 70 years in operation.

In its place is rising a 388-acre mixed-use community developed by Wilson Meany, the company that developed San Francisco’s Ferry Terminal, and master planned by Mia Lehrer + Associates, the firm overseeing much of the city’s big changes these days, from the transformation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History to the revitalization of the Los Angeles River. The scheme, which was first envisioned in 2006 and put on hold in 2009 due to the economic downturn, broke ground last month.


Existing conditions, site maps, and planned connectivity to existing grid. [Click to enlarge.]

The heart of the new community will be housing, with 525 mixed-use residential units, 675 single-family homes, 1,500 townhomes, and 1,500 condominiums organized around curving, tree-lined streets. Design guidelines will likely call for modern homes and outdoor elements like roof gardens and terraces, a welcome change for this type of development. 6,000 new trees will be planted for the undertaking, in addition to some saved from the old racetrack. The development will also include a retail center, offices, a hotel, and a small casino.

To create intimacy the team is dividing the development into neighborhoods, each centered around a park—open space is the other major piece of the project, with well over 25 acres around the site. These include the Arroyo Park, a meandering linear park designed with zigzagging walkways and vegetated swales to direct rainwater into the central lake; the Lake Park, centered, as its name suggests, around this large lake (a nod to Hollywood Park’s central lake); the Champion Park, for barbecues, picnics, and informal activity; and the bluff park, a private open space reserved for tennis, swimming, and other active uses.

Planned Site map.

Besides aggressively inserting landscape and park space into the program, Mia Lehrer + Associates is pushing the developers on issues of sustainability and walkability. The site will be covered with walking and biking trails, and the team is currently hoping to change Inglewood’s general plan to get streets narrowed, and to add “bulb outs” along streets for more trees. Sustainable infrastructure includes water collection and purification systems and proximity to public transportation and schools.

“We’re testing the limits,” said Mia Lehrer. “The importance they’re placing on the public realm is very valuable.”

Other members of the design team include Hart Howerton Architects & Planners, BCV Architects, Quatro Design Group, SWA, JCJ and brand company Air Conditioned.

With the decline of horseracing, other U.S. tracks have been converted into housing in recent years. In Silicon Valley, San Mateo’s Bay Meadows track has been turned into an upscale housing development of the same name (also by Wilson Meany); and in New York, the Jamaica Race Track in Queens has been converted into the Rochdale Village housing development.

Placeholder Alt Text

Not So Fast… Hollywood Projects Placed On Hold
It appears that the Los Angeles density backlash is starting to really... blow up. Particularly in Hollywood, where several towers and multi-use developments have been set to get rolling. On February 18, the LA Planning Department issued the Hollywood Community Plan Update Injunction Clearance, prohibiting the city's department of Building and Safety from issuing "any permit for the construction, erection, addition to or alteration of any building or structure…unless the Department of City Planning first issues a HCPU (Hollywood Community Plan Update) Injunction Clearance." While many projects won't be impacted, any project seeking entitlements or permits under the HCPU could be. The order derives from a February 11 LA County Superior Court injunction stemming from several neighborhood groups' lawsuit challenging the HCPU's Environmental Impact Review (EIR). The HCPU was passed back in 2012, bringing with it much more density around transit, among other things. According to LandUseLa, the order will require  most projects in the area to undergo extra review (while not halting them completely), but it will essentially put 28 projects on indefinite hold. Kevin Keller, Director of Planning for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, says that estimate could be higher than reality. "We haven't verified that list. The planning department is still looking at these projects on a case by case basis." He added: "The city is taking actions to ensure that projects can still move forward in Hollywood." Keller added that to speed things up City Council passed a motion to "initiate proceedings" to vacate the 2012 adoption of the HCPU while environmental analysis is performed. Either way the council has instructed planning to come up with ways to alter the HCPU's EIR and resolve the situation. It goes without saying that this could take several months (at least).  
Placeholder Alt Text

Rios Clementi Hale and LPA Win West Hollywood Park Commission
Last month we revealed three shortlisted schemes for the new West Hollywood Park, adjacent to the city's new library off La Cienega Boulevard. Last week the city announced that LPA and Rios Clementi Hale has won, beating out other finalists Frederick Fisher and Partners with CMG and Langdon Wilson. The scheme puts a strong emphasis on the connection between the park itself and its new recreation center and "resort style" rooftop pool (with cabanas and a view terrace). The rec center, clad with vertical green screens, will contain  a park-like podium and a large grand stair leading from to the park. The sprawling public space would be divided into a hard-edged  “public park,” programmed for larger events and athletics, and a sinuous “neighborhood park,” set for passive activities. The $80 million project is set for completion in 2017.
Placeholder Alt Text

Studios at the Ranch: Disney Makes Move to “Hollywood North”
On Tuesday, Los Angeles County's Board of Supervisors voted to approve Disney's huge new TV and film production facility on the Golden Oak Ranch near Santa Clarita. The project is being master planned by LA-based firm, Johnson Fain, and the 58-acre "Studios at the Ranch" will include more than 500,000 square feet of studios, sound stages, offices, writers and producers "bungalows" and other developments. According to site plans submitted to the county the project's sound stages will be located on its southern side, with offices to the north. It will be completed in seven phases. According to the LA Times, the area, nicknamed "Hollywood North" and "Hollywood's Backlot," is becoming increasingly popular for filming because of its low costs and open, diverse spaces. More than half a dozen local ranches now serve as popular filming locations. More pictures and documents for the newest kid on the block below.
Placeholder Alt Text

Fault Lines Emerge, Literally, At Millennium Hollywood
While RVCA and Handel Architects' Capitol Records–blocking Millennium Hollywood towers have received LA city approval, the controversial $600 million project is now facing another obstacle: mother nature. Geologists say that the 35-story and 39-story towers may sit on top of the active Hollywood Fault, and the state is demanding more testing to find out if the location presents a threat. According to California state law, new projects cannot be built within 50 feet of an active fault. If the fault is found on the site it could hold up other Hollywood developments as well. "We want to make sure we don't set some sort of precedent because there are suspicions that a fault line might be somewhere, that it stops all economic activity and development activity. It would cause irreparable harm to our economy if we proceeded that way," fretted California state councilman Mitch O'Farrell to the Los Angeles Times. Stay tuned as things get, well, geological.
Placeholder Alt Text

Help Design Hollywood’s Freeway-Capping Central Park
Los Angeles, are you ready to design your own Central Park? Friends of the Hollywood Central Park (FHCP), a nonprofit formed in 2008 devoted to developing a 44-acre street-level park capping Hollywood's 101 Freeway, has initiated a new web feature encouraging residents to imagine their own dream parks in order to transform Hollywood’s densely populated, park-deprived neighborhoods into healthy, prosperous green spaces. In collaboration with Central Hollywood, East Hollywood and Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Councils and the Hollywood Chamber Community Foundation, the ambitious venture will reunite the communities presently separated by the Hollywood Freeway. The Design Your Own Park tool makes it possible for individuals to create their own versions of Hollywood Central Park by offering a range of possibilities to choose from, including large features such as fields, cafés, dog parks and libraries and smaller features such as rocks, trees, and benches. The site’s simplicity makes it easy to participate in the design process, and the tool also allows users to invent their own park elements. Laurie Goldman, FHCP president, recently told StreetsBlog LA, “knowing the level of interest in the community about Hollywood Central Park, we decided the best way to get input on what should be built was give everybody a chance to create their dream park. This is everybody’s park, and everybody should have an opportunity to submit their own ideas.” A Psomas Engineering cost estimate marks the total development price at approximately $1.15 billion. As a result of an $825,000 grant from the city and a $1.2 million donation from the Aileen Getty Foundation, the landmark infrastructure project is one step closer to making the park a reality. The plans are now under environmental review, and a scoping meeting and community meeting are expected to take place in the near future.The Draft Environmental Impact Report will be open for public comment in 2015.
Placeholder Alt Text

Two More Towers Planned For Building-Crazy Hollywood
We like to think of the Hollywood Palladium, recently renovated by Coe Architecture, as a groovy place to see a show. But it looks like it's about to become a whole lot more, as one of the future centers of Hollywood's unprecedented building boom. Curbed LA reports that a mixed use development is now being planned on the parking lots behind the landmark theater, including residential units, street level shops and restaurants, and, potentially, a hotel. In case you're keeping count, just a few of the projects about to go up in the area include Morphosis' new campus for Emerson College, Roschen Van Cleave and Handel's Millenium Hollywood, Rios Clementi Hale and House and Robertson's Columbia Square, and Rios Clementi Hale's Paramount Pictures expansion, just to name a few. Whoah.