Posts tagged with "Downtown Los Angeles":
A plan crafted by developers City Market of Los Angeles and architects Hanson LA to drastically reshape a large section of the Los Angeles Fashion District in Downtown Los Angeles was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Planning Commission (LACPC) yesterday afternoon. In all, the roughly ten-acre development includes 16 development sites that will ultimately render up to 945 residential units, a 201-key hotel, 312,000 square feet of educational and creative offices, 225,000 square feet of retail spaces, and 272,000 square feet commercial office areas if built according to current plans. Hanson LA is serving as the master plan architect for the project, and the firm has developed the site plan for the project as well as written design guidelines for the development that will guide “what we do for the next 100 years” on the site, Doug Hanson told The Architect's Newspaper (AN). Hanson, a principal at Hanson LA, said the plan includes establishing a site-spanning amenity level roughly 20 feet off the street that will connect various blocks by spanning over the sidewalk. The elevated park is set at the height of neighboring industrial structures in order to maintain a contextual relationship with the neighborhood. The terrace, according to Hanson, will “speak to the history of the site” as an industrial district populated by warehouse structures. The designers hope that the elevated park spaces can provide much-needed public seating and gathering spaces for the neighborhood. The two-block-wide development will be bisected along the ground floor by a series of retail-lined pedestrian streets, with the terrace level above spanning between new structures to create an outdoor mezzanine promenade. The designers released a set of new and updated renderings for the project in anticipation of the LACPC meeting that highlight the multifaceted urban dynamic the firm has sought to articulate across the site. Site design for the project has been guided by a desire to have “quality architecture” populate public and semi-public open spaces while maintaining view corridors toward iconic downtown vistas. “These aren’t massive, big buildings,” Hanson explained as he described the articulated and setback low- and high-rise placeholder forms that show up in the renderings. Structures will ultimately be designed by a variety of architectural teams according to Hanson’s guidelines and will rise from a single story up to 454 feet in height. The plans envision a sizable portion of the site dedicated to housing a satellite campus for a local university as well as a 744-seat multiplex theater, Urbanize.la reported. The developers are also seeking to transform the complex into a so-called “sign district,” a local designation that allows for the installation of large-scale, electrified advertisement and mural billboards like those coming to nearby areas. The Skid Row–adjacent development does not feature an affordable housing component but will pay over $11 million toward a funded dedicated to preserving and creating new affordable housing in the neighborhood. The project will next be reviewed by the Los Angeles City Council for final approval. A timeline for the project’s implementation has not been released, but the developers envision a roughly 20-year construction timeline for the development, depending on market conditions.
The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) will be holding a day-long symposium on November 4 at the Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles in conjunction with the opening of The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin, a photographic exhibition based on Halprin’s body of work. As its name implies, the symposium—titled Landscape as Catalyst: Lawrence Halprin’s Legacy and Los Angeles—will focus on the seminal landscape architect’s lesser-known Los Angeles–based projects. The symposium will “examine the influences and accomplishments” of Halprin’s Los Angeles work and will be held as part of a series of national public events organized by TCLF honoring Halprin’s local and national legacy. The Architect’s Newspaper's West Editor Antonio Pacheco will be moderating a panel discussion at the event titled Focus on SoCal: Maguire Gardens, the Open Space Sequence, and Plaza Las Fuentes. The panel discussion will delve into key works from Halprin’s Los Angeles–area legacy. Speakers on the panel include Robert Maguire III, the Los Angeles developer who commissioned several of Halprin’s L.A.–based projects; Merry Norris of Merry Norris Contemporary Art who led the art and sculpture programs for these projects; Douglas A. Campbell of Campbell & Campbell landscape architects; and Patrick Reynolds, Parks Manager and City Landscape Architect for the City of Culver City. Campbell served as the associate landscape architect for the Grand-Hope Park and Maguire Gardens. Los Angeles Open Space Sequence Halprin’s work in Downtown Los Angeles is typified by the so-called Los Angeles Open Space Network, which was an outgrowth of a 1980 proposal by developer Maguire Partners for “A Grand Avenue,” a linear spine of parks and civic spaces that would be both “people-oriented and activity-generating,” according to the TCLF website. The 11-acre plan was never fully realized but helped to lay the foundation for a collection of four public open spaces along Hope Street that work in tandem to further the urban and social life of the downtown area. Included in this sequence are Crocker Court (now Wells Fargo Court) at the base of SOM-designed, 54-story Crocker Tower complex from 1983; the Bunker Hill Steps at the base of the Pei, Cobb, Freed, & Partners' 73-story Library Tower from 1989; Library Square (now Maguire Gardens) surrounding the Bertram Goodhue–designed Los Angeles Central Library from 1926; and Grand Hope Park surrounding the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) from 1993. The sequence of spaces was designed to stitch Bunker Hill's postmodern towers together with a forthcoming apartment and condominium district to the south known as South Park. The public open spaces—designed alongside other skyscraper and plaza complexes in the area—were meant to create a series of leisure and recreational nodes throughout the district and came to fruition hand-in-hand with postmodern-style architectural projects designed by nationally-recognized firms. The open space projects represent landmark works of Halprin’s late career that utilize water features, dynamic and carefully-staged processions, and symbolic planting and architectural configurations to shape the perception of open space in L.A.’s downtown area. Much like Freeway Park in Seattle, the entire sequence was designed as an interconnected trail of plazas, forecourts, and parks that offer a variety of leisure spaces while also navigating the 100-foot difference in elevation between the top of Bunker Hill and the FIDM campus. The difference here is that by the early 1990s, Halprin was engaged full-tilt with multiple facets of the postmodern style—softening austere, mirrored corporate abstraction at the Crocker Court end of the sequence while repurposing historical symbols and elements in the Bunker Hill Steps and Grand-Hope Park projects. Plaza Las Fuentes Plaza Las Fuentes in nearby Pasadena, on the other hand, was built in 1984 as part of a new mixed-use development for the satellite city’s downtown core. The plaza accompanied an eight-story office tower and 12-story hotel and shopping complex—also developed by Maguire Partners—designed by architects Moore Ruble Yudell. The plaza features Moorish Revival arcades, decorative tile walls designed by the artist Joyce Kozloff, and is populated with sculptures created by Michael Lucero. The park’s geometric fountains guide occupants through the plaza’s stepped site, incorporating sculptures, fountains, and plantings throughout. For more information on and tickets to the Landscape as Catalyst: Lawrence Halprin’s Legacy and Los Angeles symposium, see TCLF’s website.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Venezuelan-born artist Carlos Cruz-Diez has completed work on a new art installation at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles that utilizes blocks of pastel-colored paint to activate the crosswalks connected to the museum. The installation was developed by the Broad with the Cruz-Diez Art Foundation and the artist himself as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA (PST), an ambitious multi-venue exploration of Latin American and Latino art currently taking place across the Los Angeles region. The installation, titled Couleur Additive, was installed along the four crosswalks located at the intersection of Grand Avenue and 2nd Street in Downtown Los Angeles. One of the crosswalks connects the Broad to the Disney Concert Hall located on a block north of the museum. Cruz-Diez is a highly-regarded figure in the Kinetic-Optical art genre, an experimental color theory-based form of artistic exploration initially developed in the 1950s. Cruz-Diez, who recently turned 94 years old, developed his approach based on the assumption that the perception of color in the human eye constitutes an autonomous reality that changes based on position, time, and perspective. His works, according to Ed Schad, assistant curator at The Broad, create art “through and around” the side-by-side collision of the installation’s green, orange, yellow, and blue hues. Schad’s team undertook great pains to comply with the City of Los Angeles’s permitting process for the installation, which required that the paint be applied in such a way as to retain the original sidewalk striping in its entirety. As a result, the paint swatches exist independently from the typical white crosswalk striping. The paint itself was applied by student-artists from the nearby Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, a complex designed by architects Coop Himmelb(l)au. Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad said in a press release, “Carlos Cruz-Diez’s practice challenges the traditional relationship between art and the viewer, and between the viewer and the urban environment,”adding, “His new work Couleur Additive activates the public space around The Broad, embracing Grand Avenue and bringing the museum out into the daily life of pedestrians and our visitors, highlighting the ideas of an important Latin American artist whose career has spanned seven decades.” The public art installation will be featured alongside explanatory materials displayed inside the museum and in conjunction with educational workshops put on by Learning Lab, an arm of the Cruz-Diez Art Foundation. The installation is on view through the year and into 2018.
New York–based architects ODA and Miami-based developer Crescent Heights have revealed new renderings for a 70-story apartment tower slated for Downtown Los Angeles. The mixed-use development will be located at the intersection of 11th Street and Olive Street; it aims to bring 794 apartments and 12,504 square feet of ground floor commercial space to downtown’s South Park district. The midcentury modern–inspired tower has been dubbed 1045 Olive and is being shepherded by the city through an expedited permitting process thanks to California’s ELDP program, a measure that guarantees sped-up approval for projects that invest over $100 million in the state’s economy. Renderings for the building depict a rectangular, flat-topped tower resting on a parking podium. The tower’s midsection is interrupted by a multistory amenity complex that features large corner openings several stories in height. One of the large cutouts along this area contains an outdoor pool and deck overlooked by glass-clad amenity spaces that include an indoor gym. The building’s conventional floors are wrapped in protruding wood-clad balconies in an effort to bring the outside indoors and challenge the standard thinking on residential tower designs in the downtown area, Curbed reports. The architects took an unusual approach with regard to the design of the parking podium, which is wrapped in apartment units that overlook the street. The tower, if completed to a height of 810 feet as currently designed, would become one of the tallest residential structures in the region, though it would fall roughly 165 feet below the recently proposed 925 S. Figueroa tower designed by CallisonRTKL. Developer Crescent heights is also working on a pair of other high-rise developments in the area, including the controversial Palladium Residences designed by Natoma Architects in Hollywood and the Handel Architects–designed Ten Thousand tower in Beverly Hills. An official timeline for 1045 Olive has not been released; see the project website for more information.
The long-stalled Grand Avenue Project by Gehry Partners in Downtown Los Angeles has roared back to life over the last year and is now slated for a 2018 groundbreaking. Urbanize.la reports that newly-filed construction permits for the $290 million project call for bringing 128 condominiums, 214 market rate apartments, 86 deed-restricted affordable housing units, and 305 hotel rooms to one of the most prime sites in Downtown Los Angeles. These components will take shape across a pair of towers, one 39-stories tall and the other rising 20 levels. The project also calls for 200,000 square feet of commercial spaces along the ground floors of the complex, which surrounds a central paseo that will bisect the site. The development’s multi-faceted towers are composed of shifting, boxy volumes that slide pass one another and grow narrower as each mass climbs higher into the sky. The paseo will be capped on the Grand Avenue side by a large public plaza. The project has been in the works for over a decade and was originally devised as the first phase of Grand Avenue’s redevelopment. The project has been delayed for so long, however, that later phases of that plan, like the Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed Broad Museum, have already come to fruition. The project is slated to take four years to build, with final occupation taking place sometime in 2022.
A heroic new flyover video from the team behind the new Sixth Street Viaduct project in Downtown Los Angeles gives us a closer glimpse into what is in store for the L.A. River–spanning bridge as work on the $482 million project moves toward its 2020 completion date. Construction on the bridge—designed by Los Angeles–based Michael Maltzan Architecture (MMA), engineers HNTB, and the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering—is well underway. Skanska and Stacy and Witbeck are contractors for the 3,500-foot-long project. The original 1932 expanse was demolished last year as a result of long-term and irreparable structural issues. MMA’s proposal for the bridge was selected in 2012 after the city held an international contest to design the new monument. This summer, workers on either bank of the river are preparing foundations for the first of ten pairs of arching piers that will eventually support the bridge. The flyover video shows four lanes of conventional automobile traffic running at the center of the bridge, with striped bicycle lanes and barricaded sidewalks on either end. Either end of the bridge is anchored by large-scale pedestrian access ramps that wind up to meet the bridge structure. The ramps on the Boyle Heights end of the bridge wind in a circular path that ramps down to meet the neighborhood and forthcoming landscaping and park areas, part of the $12 million plan to pedestrianize and green the areas below and around the bridge. Overall, the bridge will feature five pedestrian stairways and at least three ADA-accessible pedestrian ramps. The video has drawn a bit of criticism on social media from bicycle advocates for not including protected bicycle lanes in the design. Los Angeles is making an earnest push to expand its network of protected bicycle lanes in conjunction with the piecemeal introduction of a regional bikeshare system and a growing focus on Vision Zero street designs that minimize pedestrian deaths. Instead of embracing this growing design trend, the new Sixth Street Viaduct designs, like the recently-completed Riverside-Figueroa bridge, exhibits wide, automobile-centric proportions. The bridge is scheduled to finish construction and open for traffic in 2020.
In recently-revealed renderings, adam sokol architecture practice (asap/) and developer Downtown Management have revealed a new, slanted look for a long-delayed mixed-use residential tower project proposed for Los Angeles's historic core. The 45-story tower, located at 525 South Spring Street, has been under design for several years by several different firms, including a recent 2015 proposal from L.A.-based Steinberg. Though the new proposal is strikingly different in terms of its form, asap/’s involvement has not changed the building’s program since the Steinberg scheme. The new proposal calls for 360 residential units and 25,000 square feet of retail space to be contained within a canted tower that starts on a square-shaped base and jogs to the south as it rises. Once the tower’s height surpasses those of the surrounding historic buildings, the mass of the structure shifts inwardly from the cornice line, ultimately rising to meet a square-shaped tower block. The mass rises straight up from there to the tower’s flat-topped apex. The renderings also depict a tower clad in variously-sized panels of multi-tone blue glass. The treatment starts off dark and vertically-oriented at the base, where storefronts and the entry to a garage podium are located. The podium level contains a terraced public space located above the garage entry that is shaded by the slanted structure above. Beyond the podium level, the panels take on a more pixelated motif while also becoming lighter in color as the tower rises in height. In a press release, asap/ described the cladding approach as an attempt to “exploit the materiality of glass in novel ways by deploying it to maximize its sense of mass and density.” The project comes as L.A.’s historic core sees an increase in both wholly new structures and renovations to existing buildings. asap/ is also working on a faceted hotel tower located one block south of the 525 South Spring Street site. A timeline for the 525 South Spring Street project has not been announced.
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.