Search results for "hollywood"

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Hollywood Towers To Be Slightly Less Gargantuan
The developer of the two-tower Millennium Hollywood, located just next to the Capitol Records building in Hollywood, has agreed with the city of Los Angeles to limit the buildings' heights to 35 and 39 stories, reports Curbed LA. The original proposal put forth heights of 485 and 585 feet (that's roughly 48 and  58 stories). Millennium said that the total square footage of the project—more than one million square feet—and the number of residential (492) and hotel (200) units will not change. The agreement was reached at LA City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee. This means the buildings will dwarf the iconic Capitol Records building slightly less, although the move probably won't soothe locals fears about increased congestion. Meanwhile according to the LA Times, the California Department of Transportation has accused city of officials of ignoring their concerns about the project's impact on the city's freeways. Stay tuned as this drama unfolds.  
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Residences at W Hollywood Amenity Deck
Jeff Simmons

While the W only opened in Hollywood back in 2010, the hotel has already replaced the original rooftop pool deck for its condos with a new space designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios. The old deck, designed by Daly Genik Architects, was beautiful but severe. Rios Clementi Hale opted for a more casual approach, which they call an “outdoor living room.”


The inspiration, said designer Mike Sweeney, is LA’s mix of beach and city, which plays out with a combination of hard elements like concrete and metal, and soft elements like wood and colorful foliage. Visitors walk up a small flight of stairs, surrounded by a dense growth of green and purple native and low water plants, to the pool, as if they were passing through the dunes at the shore. The pool deck is organized around a series of meandering pathways and informal spaces that allow for many activities to go on at once. Sweeney said the arrangement makes “it feel like you’re in a garden in the midst of all these rooftops.”

The scene from the roof is dominated by Hollywood’s jumble of towers, billboards, streetscapes, and hills. The architects placed a double-layered water jet cut aluminum sunshade for the barbecue on the east edge of the space as a nod to the omnipresent signage. More shade is provided by fabric cabanas and the abundant plantings. Custom, irregularly-shaped polished concrete fire tables, imbedded with Micah, add a splash of mysterious darkness and nod to the neighborhood’s legendary Walk of Fame. The matte flooring around the pool is light grey concrete.


The central organizing element of the project is a curving spine that bisects the roof, traced to the south by a giant curving Ipe wood daybed, that, Sweeney notes, matches the large scale of the surrounding city. The slatted Ipe fence behind the bed provides a sense of shape and enclosure, but doesn’t block any views. The daybed as well as the other ipe furniture on the deck was custom built on site. This warm and soft material, tempering the hardness of the city and the rooftop, also clads a self-serve bar area and a gym to the west.

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And They’re Off! Hollywood Park Race Track to Be Redeveloped as Neighborhood
Less than two weeks ago, the "Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" sent 20 thoroughbreds racing around the track at the Kentucky Derby, but across the country, Inglewood's Hollywood Park race track has announced that it will be ceasing all races at the end of this year. Forever. The race track is set to be replaced by about 3,000 homes, more than 600,000 square feet of retail space, 75,000 square feet of commercial space, a renovated casino, about 25 acres of parks, and and a 300-room hotel. The 238-acre master plan, overseen by Wilson Meany and designed by a team including Cooper Robertson, AECOM, and Mia Lehrer and Associates, was actually approved by Inglewood City Council back in 2009, but because of the recession work had been put on hold until now. Most housing will be single family, organized around curving, tree-lined streets. The track, which opened in June 1938, will run its final races from Nov. 7 through Dec. 22. It joins Bay Meadows in Silicon Valley's San Mateao as a recent California racetrack to be replaced by a mixed use community.
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Columbia Square Back From The Dead In Hollywood
Add yet another project to the Hollywood development maelstrom. We learn from our friends at Curbed LA that the Columbia Square project—the redevelopment of the historic CBS Studios on Sunset Boulevard—is now moving ahead after a multi-year hiatus. The giant project, recently taken over by developer Kilroy Realty, would include a 22-story residential tower, 33,000 square feet of retail, three renovated historic streamline moderne structures, and two new office buildings all totaling more than 330,000 square feet. The architect of the former iteration was Johnson Fain, and now that title has gone to House & Robertson Architects. The historic complex, which opened in 1938, was designed by Swiss architect William Lescaze. It was once home to radio shows by Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, and Orson Welles and, later, to television's Ed Wynn Show.
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Video> Hollywood Sign Facelift Complete in Time for 90th Anniversary
The Hollywood sign, whose facelift we've been tracking in recent weeks, has been fully restored. After nine-weeks of  priming and painting, the nine shiny white letters are once again the talk of Tinseltown. Thanks to Sherwin Williams and the Hollywood Sign Trust, who funded the facelift, the 45-foot-tall letters gracing LA’s Mount Lee are all set for its upcoming 90th anniversary celebration next year. And if you missed it in person, check out the time lapse video documenting this milestone below.
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Hollywood Sign Now Has Half A Facelift
Like any star of the silver screen, a facial peel is in order every now and then. For the famous Hollywood Sign perched atop Mount Lee overlooking Los Angeles, it's been 35 years since its last facelift, but the 89 year-old historical landmark will soon look as young as ever. Last week, the restoration project passed the halfway mark, with the H-O-L-L-Y letters newly primed, primped, and painted. The effort started on October 2 and will be completed by year’s end. The remaining corrugated steel letters will be sanded and given a fresh coat of glossy white paint. When all is said and done, approximately 110 gallons of primer and 275 gallons of paint will have been used. And for sign aficionados who want to duplicate the color, it’s Sherwin-Williams Emerald Exterior Paint in high reflective white. The Hollywood Sign Trust together with Sherwin-Williams is funding the project. The sign was originally built as a real estate billboard in 1923, scrapped and rebuilt in 1978 and today continues to be an international landmark.
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Another Hollywood Landmark In Trouble?
Last week AN learned that Hollywood's Capitol Records building may be in for a dwarfing by two new adjacent towers. Now we learn from our friends at Curbed that the historic Hollywood Palladium, renovated in 2008 by Coe Architects, might also be in trouble. Miami developer Crescent Heights is about pay $55 million for the Palladium site, and it's rumored that they want to build luxury apartments or condos there. The 72-year-old theater apparently has no historic protections, so this could get ugly. Stay tuned.
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Planet Hollywood
Courtesy Renzo Piano Building Workshop / Studio Pali Fekete

For more than half a century, Hollywood’s film industry has tried and failed to build a museum dedicated to its substantial legacy. Now, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is giving it another try. Today, the academy unveiled designs by Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali of the Museum of Motion Pictures, to be located inside the historic May Company building on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Piano and Pali’s scheme will restore the Wilshire and Fairfax facades of the 1939 Streamline Moderne building, with its iconic golden cylinder corner, designed by Albert C. Martin and Samuel A. Marx. But rising from the northeast corner of the building will be a spherical glass and steel structure, designed as the museum's focal point, and, as Academy officials have put it, as a representation of "the marriage of art and technology.”


The globe appears to be much more adventurous than any of the additions Piano designed for neighboring LACMA. It will dominate the back of the building, protruding from its top as if a meteor had landed on the May Company. It will merge with a rectilinear glass and steel structure located on the site of a 1940s add-on to the building, explained Pali. 

"Hopefully it will transport you to another world, the way movies do," he added.

Above the globe will sit a rooftop deck while large balconies will cantilever from its upper floors.

The project will, said Piano in a statement, “finally enable this wonderful building to be animated and contribute to the city after sitting empty for so long.” Indeed, the May Company building, once a swanky department store, has been largely vacant for almost 20 years. Many of its glass storefronts and entrances have already been restored.

The nearly 300,000-square-foot movie museum will contain exhibitions and galleries, screening rooms (including a theater inside part of the glass sphere), and an interactive education center with demonstration labs. It will draw from the Academy’s huge archives, which include over 140,000 films, 10 million photos, 42,000 film posters, 10,000 production drawings, costumes, props, and movie equipment, among many other objects.

As of now the Academy—its campaign chaired by Tom Hanks and Annette Bening— has raised $100 million of its goal of $250 million for the museum. Last year the Academy scrapped a pricier $400 million plan for a museum on Vine Street by Christian de Portzamparc. That lot now contains a lawn for film screenings.

The museum is set to break ground in 2014 and be completed by 2016 or 2017.

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Maltzan’s Revamped Regen Projects Brings Class To Hollywood
On Friday AN visited Michael Maltzan's new art space, Regen Projects, on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. The gallery, founded by Stuart Regen and Shaun Caley Regen, moved to its current gritty location from West Hollywood, and showcases artists like Doug Aitken, Catherine Opie, Andrea Zittel, Dan Graham, and Anish Kapoor. From the outside, the 20,000 square foot project resembles its own urbanscape, with stacked and staggered white boxes taking on the appearance of abstracted buildings in a skyline. Inside, light glows warmly into the main gallery through a system that Maltzan created in which the light from a long rooftop skylight is split via a metallic divider into two separate scrim-covered wells. A smaller gallery, whose light source is far away, takes on the appearance of a James Turrell skyspace. The second floor deck provides the perfect spot for art and sculpture, not to mention parties and openings. During our tour, the space proved an ideal nest from which to view the unexpected flight of Space Shuttle Endeavor across the state. More on this and other new LA galleries coming up in AN's next West Coast print issue.
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Face-Off in West Hollywood
The Red building (left) completes a glassy but distant triumvirate at the PDC.
Courtesy Gruen Associates

The uneasy alliance of architecture and urbanism is put to the test near the corner of San Vicente Boulevard and Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. The looming presence of the Pacific Design Center (PDC) has long monopolized attention, still more so with the addition of the nearly completed Red Building, which completes the trio of sleek glass forms that Cesar Pelli first conceived more than 40 years ago. Directly opposite is West Hollywood Park, a civic venture masterplanned by Johnson Favaro, whose new library opened last year. The goal is to enlarge the park to five acres by relocating the adjacent pool and gym to a site behind the library. The Red Building—and the PDC at large— steals the limelight with its bold and expressive architecture. But from an urban perspective, the PDC is as unwelcoming as any corporate complex, and its landscaped plaza sees little public use. Even the satellite gallery of MOCA is sparsely attended. In contrast, the modestly scaled buildings across the street are intensively used and better respond to the needs of the community.

This juxtaposition of private and public, overwhelming and reticent, is a textbook case of how and how not to embed a development in a community. PDC was conceived as a glamorous and important alternative to the wholesale design showrooms of other cities, which were located in warehouses on the wrong side of the tracks. It was to do for design what the Music Center downtown was to do for the arts: create a detached temple for initiates. The Blue Whale, which opened in 1975, is a hermetically sealed, windowless glass container for showrooms, accessible only to the trade. Within, it feels labyrinthine and claustrophobic, cut off from natural light and fresh air, and from the bustle of the streets. Once a year it comes alive for Westweek; at other times it appears deserted.

The Green Building was added in 1988, by which time the original program was exhausting its appeal. Herman Miller, Knoll, Vitra, Steelcase, and other contract firms moved to stand-alone showrooms. The Green Building was later converted to offices. The long-delayed Red Building was rethought by Pelli and Gruen Associates. They narrowed the section, incorporated bands of clear glass into the sleek facade, located parking in the lower stories, and placed offices in two elliptical wedges to either side of an elevated courtyard. But the building doesn’t help connect the complex to its community. Cars are ushered deep into the complex, never to be seen again. Still, in contrast to its siblings, the Red Building’s interiors are infused with light and command sweeping views, and the structure’s tapered prow and daring cantilever minimize its bulk and make its fifteen stories a more acceptable neighbor for the two-story houses and shops beyond. It’s also a triumph of engineering and glass fabrication.

Johnson Favaro's West Hollywood Library fronts a new civic complex.
Benny Chan / Fotoworks

Across La Cienega Boulevard, in designing a replacement for the cramped 1960s library that previously occupied the park, Johnson Favaro were challenged to provide greatly expanded facilities on a small footprint and to establish a dialogue with the street and the PDC. “This is an important civic building that will last a long time and we didn’t want it to be dwarfed by the gigantic furniture store across the street,” said Johnson Favaro principal James Favaro. “There’s a cacophony of styles in this community, so we decided that the exterior should be understated and confident. In a noisy room, you can stand out by being quiet.”

To achieve that goal, the facade is expressed as a horizontal composition of glass and white stucco ribbons that undulate and peel away. Each of the three levels is clearly expressed, and the wraparound stretch of glass that lights the third-floor reading room has a projecting frame. A coffee shop and an expansive lobby open onto the sidewalk, an arch leads to the ground-floor city council chamber and the parking structure behind, and steps wind up the north side to the second floor. The contrast with the seamless, scale-less Blue Whale could not be greater.

Inside, too, the building reaches out to its neighbors. Unbroken floorplates at the second and third levels generate a sense of openness and allow for flexible divisions of space. A skylit staircase leads to the open reading room and stacks on the third floor. The ribbon window of the reading room frames a panoramic view of the Hollywood Hills and the PDC, and the wood ceiling, boldly carved with wooden flowers and leaves, evokes nature and the coffered vaults of the great public libraries of Boston and New York. Rarely has a new LA library displayed such erudite exuberance, despite the tight site and budget.

The City of West Hollywood shares the credit for commissioning so ambitious a plan and seeking to complete the second phase, comprising a new gym and pool, then demolishing the old and enlarging the park for a community that has too little green space. Of course the library and the upcoming park are inherently public buildings. But even a private development like the PDC can work harder to engage with the street, with public amenities, larger entrances, and welcoming landscaping that have become commonplace since the PDC was first envisioned.

Elsewhere the city is working to do just that, with plans to improve the public rights of way on the sections of Melrose, Beverly, and Robertson they’ve christened the Avenues of Art and Design, in a similar fashion to the upgraded stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard. To the east of Fairfax, efforts continue to revitalize a depressed area, as private developers are encouraged to hire talented architects for new apartment and mixed-use blocks. At least West Hollywood’s more recent initiatives combine to make this 25-year-old city a beacon of good design and humane urbanism. When completed, the park and its amenities should be a model of such urbanism—in contrast to the PDC, which, despite a huge and well-intentioned investment, has failed to engage the public.

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Aging Hollywood Tower Getting Tech-Funded Makeover
Things seem to be humming again in Hollywood. Big-time tech developer Kilroy Realty has just bought the Sunset Media Center, a 22-story tower just east of the corner of Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. According to Curbed LA, The company plans an extensive renovation of the glass-clad mid-century building's lobby, common areas, and tenant spaces (see image above). Most of the building's tenants are digital entertainment companies, including Nielsen Media Research and Prometheus Entertainment. As usual, the company has not yet revealed the architect (maybe they don't have one yet?), but we're checking into that.
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Slideshow> Hollywood Hills Construction Defies Gravity
On Friday we revealed Francois Perrin's precariously-situated house, a sleek stack of glass boxes embedded into the Hollywood Hills on a concrete base. Terrain aside, the project is stunning for its views of the city, for its glassy connection between indoor and outdoor space, and for its minimal lines. Perhaps even more amazing, though, is how the house was built in the first place, requiring crews to literally move mountains and dangle from cables off the side of a ravine. To reveal the process beneath the building, AN compiled a slideshow of the work in action.