Posts tagged with "Downtown Los Angeles":
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has released a new promotional video showcasing preliminary designs for a collection of dramatic upgrades slated for the city’s Union Station railway and transit terminal in Downtown Los Angeles. The fly-through video features conceptual designs for the improvements and demonstrates that designers for the project are thinking big as they aim to rework the historic Los Angeles Union Station building. According to the video, a new circular, airport terminal–like elevated concourse will wrap between train platforms on the far eastern end of the complex, with the station’s many public transit connections scattered throughout the station’s western extents. The scheme calls for sandwiching an ADA-accessible vertical circulation core between the new structure and the existing station functions. The above-grade concourse will also feature retail spaces, wayfinding signage, and treetop views of the city, all looping around multiple train concourse platforms that will eventually include a depot for California’s forthcoming high-speed rail network. The new concourse is part of the ongoing LINK Union Station project that aims to add through service to the regional transit hub. Currently, several regional transit lines dead end at the station, an arrangement that will change once the improvements are made, allowing for faster travel times through the area, a reduction in necessary transfers between regional commuter rail lines, and expanded access and visibility for the hub. Metro has not secured funding for the project, which according to certain estimates, could cost between $1.7 and $2.1 billion. The scheme will be in the running against a more expensive ground floor concourse concept that is still currently under development. For more information, see the Metro website.
Architects AC Martin and developer Onni Group have released new renderings depicting the teams’ redevelopment plans for the Times Mirror Square complex in Downtown Los Angeles. The project calls for demolishing the historic William Pereira–designed LA Times addition from 1971 and replacing the black metal panel-clad late modernist office block with a pair of podium-style housing towers. The two towers—one 37 stories tall, the other with 53 floors—would hug the sidewalk along Hill Street in order to create a pedestrian paseo through the site separating the existing LA Times and Mirror buildings from the new towers. The existing buildings, originally designed by Gordon Kaufmann and Rowland Crawford, respectively, would be preserved and renovated to house creative offices. No word on where the LA Times offices will be relocated to or if the publication will continue to operate out of the renovated offices. Overall, the project will contain 1,127 residential units and 34,572 square feet of commercial areas. The two flat-topped towers are depicted in the new renderings rather generically, with alternating stacks of projecting balconies and curtain wall expanses populating each tower’s facades. The dual monoliths sit atop a single podium populated by low-rise apartments and rooftop amenity spaces. The building’s ground level retail spaces wrap around the base and into the paseo area, which is shaded from above by an operable glass ceiling. The paseo itself will contain multi-level terraces spaces as well as the aforementioned storefronts. The LA Times building is depicted along Broadway as having a public marketplace along its ground floor. The towers will be joined in the vicinity by a blocky 30 story mixed-use tower designed by Gensler to be located on the block behind the LA Times complex. The projects will also feed into a growing push to convert the surrounding the Civic Center area into a new mixed-use residential enclave. The Times Mirror Square project is anticipated to begin construction in 2019 and open for occupancy in 2023.
After three years of nearly round-the-clock construction, AC Martin’s Wilshire Grand Center in Downtown Los Angeles has finally opened to the public.
The 73-story building celebrated its grand opening on Friday in a pomp-filled ceremony that included a performance by the University of Southern California marching band. Representatives from AC Martin and L.A.’s political and business establishment were on hand as well to inaugurate the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.
The 1,100-foot-tall tower contains a mix of uses, including a 900-key InterContinental Hotel, 265,141 square feet of Class A office space, and 45,100 square feet of restaurant and commercial spaces. The tower also features L.A.’s first “sky lobby,” which will provide some of the highest views in the city. The uppermost levels of the tower will be home to a steakhouse and several bars, including Spire 73, which according to Eater, is now the highest open-air bar in the country.
The sail-shaped, pinnacle-capped tower is the first new skyscraper constructed in the city without a flat roof. Until recently, fire regulations required that tall buildings provide helicopter landing pads on their rooftops to help evacuate occupants in the event of a fire or earthquake. The helipads were seldom used and, as a result, the regulation was changed last year to allow the city to develop a more dramatic skyline. Instead of offering a helipad, the Wilshire Grand is outfitted with a more extensive fire suppression and warning system than would normally be the case. The early detection system includes networked voice and visual communications capabilities that allow building operators and firefighters to communicate with every floor of the structure, according to KPCC.
Now that the building is complete, all eyes are pointed toward San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. When completed, that tower will be the second tallest in the West, rising just 30 feet shy of the Wilshire Grand at 1,070 feet in height. The tower is expected to finish construction in 2018.
OKB Architecture has released renderings that depict planned renovations to the historic Foreman & Clark building in Downtown Los Angeles. The L.A.-based firm will convert the former department store and office building into a mixed-use apartment complex containing 125 units and 8,500 square feet of ground level retail. The building dates to 1928 and is organized along a series of double-loaded internal corridors, which, along with many of the building’s original decorative elements, will be retained through the conversion. The proposed apartments will ring the building’s exterior facades, with one set of units looking out over a large fifth floor courtyard and the others along the perimeter of the structure. The building will contain a collection of one- and two-bedroom units. New additions to the structure include renovations to the fifth floor terrace overlooking the street and the addition of a new rooftop penthouse level. The shared terrace will contain building amenities like integrated seating areas, shade pavilions, and modest plantings. Renderings for the project depict updated ground floor retail areas with double-height glass-clad storefronts buttressed by low walls. The renderings also depict a new, more prominent residential lobby entrance along 7th Street marked by an oversized awning. The project joins a growing number of new developments within and around Downtown Los Angeles’s historic Broadway Theatre District, including a forthcoming 450-unit condominium tower inspired by the surrounding historic mercantile structures by architects Hanson LA. Because many of the area’s structures are historically significant, many of the new developments in the district consist of interior renovations and condominium and office conversions. A timeline for the Foreman & Clark project has not been announced.
Californian practice Hanson LA Architecture has revealed new renderings depicting the firm’s master plan for the City Market of Los Angeles complex in the Fashion District neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles. The multi-phase project aims to ultimately bring 945 residential units, a 210-key hotel, 225,000-square feet of retail, a restaurant, and entertainment venues—including a 744-seat movie theater—to the neighborhood. The complex will also include 312,000-square feet of educational space meant to be occupied by one or multiple educational tenants. All of that program will be spread out across a 10-acre site populated by a series of low- and mid-rise blocks separated by outdoor spaces. The project was originally announced in 2013 and is expected to cost between $500- and $1 billion to construct, depending on how the scope of the project evolves in response to market conditions. A Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) indicates that the project will contain a cluster of towers, the tallest of which potentially rising up to 38-stories in height. Renderings released for the project depict a collection of faceted, podium-style towers punctuated by diagonal window patterns. The towers overlook an elevated park that runs along a portion of the northern edge of the site. The project, as designed, indicates that the ever-growing Downtown Los Angeles skyline is beginning to spread eastward along its southern edge into an area defined mostly by low-rise warehouse structures and parking lots. The project’s first phase—City Market South—according to a press release, is now complete and nearly 98% leased. The complex will host festivities next month when it acts as the site of the Los Angeles Design Festival.
Los Angeles Design Festival (LADF) organizers have announced the program for a week-long design festival to take place June 8 through 11 centered around Downtown Los Angeles's growing arts and design scene. Unlike prior years during which LADF typically ran for two weeks in a row, this year, organizers have taken an abbreviated track, packing about as many events and festivities into a single week’s time. Those events, which range from awards ceremonies honoring ICON and EDGE award recipients to showcases of new, innovative works, will be centered predominantly across two of the city’s newest creative loci, the Row DTLA and City Market South complexes. City Market South is a recently-developed Class-A creative office and retail complex located in Los Angeles’s original City Market. The City Market was once a hub of wholesale produce sales in L.A.’s Fashion District and has been converted by developers over the last few years, as part of the first phase of an anticipated 25-year project. The Row, on the other hand, is located just outside the Arts District neighborhood and consists of a large-scale creative office agglomeration in the former American Apparel factory complex. The 2017 program for LADF features a series of collaborative events with local cultural group deLAB, software giant Adobe, and the exhibition launch for the New California Craft showcase, among other events. In a press release announcing the program, LADF co-founder Haily Zaki said, “The L.A. Design Festival is a reflection of our city’s creative diversity and talent. While we don’t establish official themes, this year our programs proudly celebrate women in design, and look towards the future of our global design city.” For more information, see the LADF website.
In the two years since restoration work on the largely-forgotten Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial restoration in Downtown Los Angeles began, the areas around the isolated military memorial fountain have begun to see signs of change. To the north, the LA Plaza Village project, a new mixed-use development by architects Johnson Fain and landscape architects SWA Group, will likely transform the area when its 355 housing units and 46,000 square feet of commercial spaces come online in 2018. That project will take over several Los Angeles County–owned parking lots occupying the relatively isolated blocks east of the memorial. These formerly-neglected hillside lands are populated mostly by encampments, parking lots, and planted slopes and are relatively difficult to access on foot. The LA Plaza project will feature, however, a central, stepped paseo connecting across several blocks, linking the memorial with the pedestrian life of the Olvera Street area to the east. The Civic Center area to the south of the memorial, meanwhile, is working toward implementing the initial phases of a new, transformative master plan that seeks to convert the bureaucratic enclave into a mixed-use residential neighborhood in its own right. If there’s anything in the air around these parts, it’s change. Work on the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial continues in pursuit of these changes, as the fountain—its waters shut off since the 1977 drought—is meticulously restored by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works under the guidance of Conservator Donna Williams and Civic Art Collections Manager Clare Haggarty. The memorial is located atop the stubborn slope that gives Downtown Los Angeles’s Hill Street its name and is dedicated to the Mormon Battalion and the New York Volunteer American military forces that first raised the American flag over the recently-conquered California territory on July 4th, 1847. The memorial is situated in a sunken plaza that features a large, running-bond brick expanse on its northernmost end. Next follows the 80-foot-wide waterfall backed by small, colorful tiles. The southernmost portion of the memorial contains a 78-foot by 45-foot terra cotta bas relief installation designed by renowned German sculptor Henry Kreis depicting the flag raising ceremony mentioned above. The bas relief installation also features a trio of symbolic narrative compositions celebrating the area’s conquest via Manifest Destiny. The uppermost panel celebrates the post-indigenous Spanish ranchos and agricultural pioneers of the area. The central panel depicts a “prairie schooner,” a type of stagecoach used by the early American settlers “who made Los Angeles a city,” while the lowest panel celebrates the might of industrial “water and power” that allowed for the region to be inhabited on a mass scale. The overall memorial was designed by Southern California architects Kazumi Adachi and Dike Nagano between 1947 and 1957 and officially dedicated in 1958. The memorial also features a 68-foot-tall triumphal pylon designed by American sculptor Albert Stewart. The pylon is itself embossed by a 16-foot by 11-foot sculpted eagle bas relief and an inscription dedicated to the “brave men and women” who played a role in “extending the frontiers” of the United States westward. Haggarty spoke to The Architect’s Newspaper (AN) via email, explaining that work on the memorial restoration is well underway, with the restoration of the waterfall’s tile backing proceeding toward completion. Craftspeople are recreating replacement tiles for the wall by hand in an effort to match the original installation. Haggarty explained that when the waterfall was turned off during the 1977 drought, the monument began to fall into disrepair, but that many of the artistic components are in decent shape, otherwise. She explained, “The materials [like] grout, tiles, etc. started to get brittle and began to delaminate” when the water was originally shut off and that after over 40 years of neglect, “the plumbing for the waterfall needs to be entirely replaced.” A goal of the restoration is to return the monument to its original function as a fountain, assuming there is enough water to go around. Haggarty explained, “It is supposed to be a fountain and turning it off caused most of the issues. Another big issue is graffiti and prior methods of removal that have done more harm than good.” A broad, sandblasted patch along the brick wall portion of the project is a testament to that fact. Haggarty and Williams will both be presenting at the Los Angeles Visionary Association salon on Sunday, April 30th. The event, organized by preservation advocates Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, will include lectures from the women behind the restoration project as well as a tour of the restoration site. Schave told AN via email, “The Fort Moore Memorial is a huge part of the downtown landscape, poorly understood, and neglected, and now, thanks to the LA County Arts Commission, it is coming back into focus.” Schave added that the restoration “allows us to reassert the lost history of [Fort Moore] Hill—the demolished layers from the 19th and early 20th centuries, including the people who lived there—and the monument itself.”
To take a walk down Downtown Los Angeles's Figueroa Corridor these days is to behold a sea of construction cranes. The entire area is currently being transformed by rising crop of transit-accessible high-rise luxury towers. One of the biggest changes coming to the area will be the recently-proposed Figueroa Centre tower project by architects Callison RTKL. The designers recently revealed a second rendering for their new 66-story tower which, if completed according to plan, will become not only the third-tallest structure in Los Angeles, but also the tallest residential building in the region. The project is slated for 200 condominium units, 220 hotel rooms, and 94,000 square feet of retail spaces. The new tower—it will be located at 925 S. Figueroa Street and rise 975 feet—is part of the large-scale effort to make Los Angeles a better draw for large-scale trade and professional conventions by boosting the overall supply of rental housing and hotel rooms in the areas surrounding the Los Angeles Convention Center and L.A. Live complexes. The city is currently planning to add 8,000 new hotel rooms to those areas, a boom that over the next few years will add a new wing to Downtown Los Angeles’s fledgling skyline. For the most part, the new towers are being built above existing surface parking lots. Up until recently, the city’s downtown skyline was made up mostly of high-rise office towers built in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Over the next ten or so years, however, roughly 20 new towers are due to sprout along Figueroa Street alone, from the foot of L.A.’s newest, tallest tower—the 1,018-foot-tall, A.C. Martin-designed Wilshire Grand Hotel—to the southernmost flank of Interstate-10. Several of those projects are already well under construction, including the Callison RTKL-designed Oceanwide Plaza complex, a $1 billion project consisting of a trio of towers rising between 40- and 49-stories in height. The podium levels of that project are quickly rising out of the ground. Ultimately, the project will contain 150,000 square feet of shopping areas, 504 condominium units, and a 184-key hotel. The twin, 36-story tall Circa towers by Harley Ellis Devereaux are nearly topped-out, according to a time-lapse camera perched over the site. Crews at the Circa site have been snapping curtain wall elements into place over the last few weeks, while crews at the Metropolis project have finished one of that project’s four towers are and are making quick work of the remaining three. A timeline for the Figueroa Centre project has not been announced.
Los Angeles–based architects Johnson Fain have revealed a new rendering for 641, a proposed mixed-use tower in the Los Angeles Arts District. The tower, located at 641 South Imperial Avenue, is expected to rise a total of 12 stories and will become among the tallest buildings in the vicinity, upon completion. The tower complex will contain 140 live-work lofts, 7,000 square feet of ground floor retail, and 7,000 square feet of creative office space. The complex will also contain an arts-focused space, as well as four levels of subterranean parking that will house 162 automobile stalls. According to the rendering released by the firm, the rectangular tower will feature a gridded facade along at least one side populated by large, presumably unit-wide balcony spaces. These modules are repeated across the expanse and feature angled edges that will function as vertical louvers for the east-facing facade. The angled walls will follow an undulating pattern as they climb up the tower’s height and seem to be bounded by glass railings and floor-to-ceiling windows along the balcony spaces. The arrangement sits atop a two-story, brick-clad base containing the ground floor retail and creative office spaces along the second floor. Units in the development are expected to range between 600 and 1,300 square feet in size, according to Johnson Fain. The Arts District neighborhood is currently made up of one- and two-story warehouse and industrial buildings, but many large-scale projects are in the works. A recently-revealed complex by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) for a lot around the corner from 641 is due to rise approximately the same height. Architects Herzog & de Meuron have also proposed a large-scale project for Sixth and Alameda nearby. That project, dubbed 6AM, includes a pair of high-rise towers—one due to climb 732 feet high and the other, 710 feet—that will transform the neighborhood’s skyline. A timeline for the Johnson Fain project has not been released.
The City of Los Angeles is moving quickly in its efforts to rework the historic Civic Center district as it aims to rectify nagging post-World War II era planning and building legacies amid a period of intense development within surrounding Downtown Los Angeles neighborhoods. The areas around the district—roughly encompassed by the 101 Freeway, Judge John Aiso Street, 1st Street and Grand Avenue—are already undergoing broad change, including the recent completion of the SOM-designed Los Angeles U.S District Courthouse and the forthcoming First and Broadway park by Mia Lehrer+Associates and OMA. The area is also due to receive a series of high-rise residential towers from Canadian developers Onni Group, including a boxy scheme by Gensler and a collection of pointed condo towers by AC Martin. The draft plan aims to convert the purpose-built bureaucratic and administrative quarter into a “Civic Innovation District”—a mixed-use neighborhood containing street-fronting retail, startup office space, broad pedestrian paths, a bounty of public parks, and high-rise residential housing. In March, the Los Angeles City Council voted to approve the new Civic Center Master Plan—a document based on a study by multi-service firm IBI Group that would guide the redevelopment of the area. The plan envisions adding 1.2 million square feet of office space to the area, as well as roughly 1.1 million square feet of housing, and at least 217,500 square feet of retail space, all the while reworking surrounding streets and blocks into a network of interconnected, axially-driven, pedestrian-friendly promenades. Most controversially, instituting the plan involves demolishing a variety of structures, including the historic but socially-problematic former Los Angeles Police Department headquarters from 1955—designed by architect Welton Becket and known as Parker Center. The modernist-style City Hall East building and the Metropolitan Detention Center, a 757-bed federal prison, would also be demolished via the plan, among other structures. Another aim of the plan is to establish City Hall as the visual and conceptual locus for an area that would stitch together the Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, Arts District, and El Pueblo neighborhoods. The plan would be implemented over six phases beginning later this year with the demolition of Parker Center. That structure was recently denied historic status and is headed toward demolition, to be replaced with a high-rise tower containing 712,500 square feet of office space and 37,500 square feet of ground floor retail. The existing City Hall South building will be replaced starting in 2019 with 569,000 square feet of housing and 90,000 square feet of retail uses in a podium-style tower that would also create a paseo between itself and the City Hall East building. The housing tower would face the Morphosis-designed CalTrans Building from 2004 and would sit diagonally from the new Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters building by AECOM from 2009 that made the Parker Center structure functionally redundant. Starting in 2021, the scheme calls for converting the existing Los Angeles Mall into a 390-foot tall tower complex containing 675,000 square feet of government office, commercial, and flexible spaces. The podium-style building will leave generous, wedge-shaped areas along the ground as open space. A fourth phase would bring another 520,000 square feet of housing and 90,000 square feet of retail to the southern portion of the block containing the Parker Center’s replacement between 2024 and 2027. Planning documents show those structures as a series of wedge-shaped housing towers and low commercial buildings organized around a continuation of the paseo started on the block just to the north. This paseo would connect to the booming Little Tokyo and Arts District neighborhoods, which are due to receive a slew of high-rise, mixed-use developments along the Alameda Corridor, as well. Following that development—the document times phase five to start in 2027—the Metropolitan Detention Center at the eastern edge of the block will make way for a 360,000-square-foot government office and retail tower. It is unclear whether the prison will be replaced locally or elsewhere. The final phase of the plan would demolish the modernist-style City Hall East building, replacing the striking 13-story tower with a small cultural building and a civic plaza. The plan, as specified, would be completed sometime between 2030 and 2032. A recently-released rendering by IBI Group describes the area as a more uniformly 12-20 story tall cluster of towers separated by broad swaths of open space. The plan—more radically—also envisions placing a lid over a three-block section of the 101 Freeway currently dividing the Civic Center from the El Pueblo and Union Station areas. The connection would make the Civic Center area accessible to the currently-under-construction $410 million La Plaza de Cultura project by Johnson Fain, Benchmark Contractors, and the non-profit Cesar Chavez Foundation. That project aims to bring 355 housing units at 46,000-square feet of retail space to the area. Once completed, the Civic Center Master Plan has the potential to convert the sleepy, bureaucratic district into the lynchpin of a continuous, mixed-use center spanning from Pershing Square at the heart of downtown to the western banks of the Los Angeles River on one end and Chinatown on the other. The areas between the Civic Center and the Arts District are expected to receive a series of stops along the new Regional Connector subway line, a condition that will surely drive further residential and commercial growth in the area. The plan was recently approved by the Los Angeles City Council’s Entertainment and Facilities Committee. It now heads for consideration by the full city council, and eventually, the mayor’s office.
Global architecture firm Callison RTKL and Newport Beach, California–based MJS Landscape Architecture have released a rendering of a new 66-story tall mixed-use residential tower proposed for the bustling entertainment district in Downtown Los Angeles. According to documents submitted to the Los Angeles Planning Department, the project would bring 200 condominium units and a 220-room hotel to 925 S. Figueroa, Urbanize.LA reports. The project would also include 94,000 square feet of retail spaces and parking for 617 automobiles. The project is one of a handful of towers Callison RTKL is currently working on in the Downtown L.A. area, including a 57-story tall, Jenga-shaped tower proposed for a lot adjacent to Pershing Square. That tower features projecting, cantilevered swimming pools and a sky-lobby. Callison RTKL is also working on the three-towered Oceanwide Plaza, also on Figueroa Street. The new, rectangular tower is set to rise out of a large parking and retail podium. That podium will be topped with recreational uses for hotel guests and condominium residents. The rendering released for the project indicates that like many of the historic high-rise towers across downtown, the monolith will be capped by a flat-topped roof. The arrangement used to be inscribed in local fire code as a safety measure to be utilized in the event tall buildings had to be evacuated via helicopter, but the rule was recently overturned. The project at 925 S. Figueroa marks the 19th high-rise tower proposed or under construction along Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Architects Gensler recently revealed plans for an eccentric, 52-story tall tower at the southern edge of this new district. Gensler is also responsible for the Metropolis, 1020 South Figueroa, and Fig+Pico projects along Figueroa. Meanwhile, SOM and P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S are behind the Olympia development, while Harley Ellis Devereaux and Hanson LA are deep into construction on the twin Circa towers. The developments—which track along the Blue and Expo light rail lines and surround the L.A. Live, Staples Center, and Los Angeles Convention Center complexes—are sure to continue to grow in their ranks as the city moves toward building 8,000 new hotel rooms near the Convention Center by 2020.
Paperwork was filed this week with the Los Angeles Department of City Planning by developer Trical Construction, Inc. to replace the existing City Lights on Fig complex in Downtown Los Angeles with a Gensler-designed, 53-story glass hotel tower. The project, if completed, would add yet another monolith to the entertainment district’s growing contribution to the city’s skyline. Urbanize L.A. reports that the existing project, a 100-unit, five-story tall apartment complex, was built by the developer in 2004 and is being cleared, in part, to help achieve the city’s goal of increasing hotel supply around the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) and L.A. Live complex. The City is seeking to locate 8,000 hotel rooms within proximity to the LACC complex. A study from 2015 indicates that 3,172 hotel rooms exist in the area, with approximately 2,000 new ones on the way. The Trical Construction project would increase that number by over 50 percent, adding 1,024 rooms, and will be operated as two separate hotels. The developer has not announced which hotelier will run either of the two proposed establishments. Renderings for the proposed complex indicate that the new tower will make use of recently loosened restrictions that will no longer require tall buildings in the city to be capped by flat-topped helicopter evacuation pads. As a result, Gensler’s tower is designed to have a pointed, faceted top. The renderings depict a rectangular tower clad in riveted glass curtain walls. It's a relatively subdued design considering Gensler’s other, recently-revealed tower for the area, which is made up of stacked geometric shapes and punctured by a roughly 20-story hole. The newest project will comprise the 19th such tower for the growing entertainment district, ten of which are designed by Gensler. Renderings also depict large, ground level electronic signage in keeping with many of the other recently-proposed projects. The proposed tower, located in a new Sign District surrounding the LACC and L.A. Live areas, will bring a mix of commercial electric signage as well as art-focused installations to the pedestrian areas in the neighborhood.