Posts tagged with "Los Angeles":

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New details emerge for L.A.’s Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

The board of directors for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) recently chose Los Angeles as the latest—and potentially final—site for its troubled museum proposal.

The decision marks the third attempt by the LMNA museum board to find a location for the nearly $1 billion museum—resulting in multiple design schemes by MAD Architects. The LMNA will house a growing and expansive collection of graphic art, including works by Zaha Hadid, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, among others.

MAD Architects’ initial designs for a site north of San Francisco were rebuffed in 2015 after community outcry. The LMNA team made a try for a site in Chicago in 2016, only to eventually scrap the plans in the face of fierce opposition to the project’s proposed location on the Chicago’s lakefront by a local community group. Most recently, LMNA’s board made parallel pitches for two sites in California: one on San Francisco’s Treasure Island and another in L.A.’s Exposition Park.

L.A. won out this round, gaining another cultural amenity for a site already home to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, California African American Museum, California Science Center, and the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles County. The new museum, if built, will also be located along the city’s Expo Line light rail line, and will help—along with a forthcoming Gensler-designed Los Angeles Football Club soccer stadium—extend a leg of transit-oriented development from a growing entertainment and hotel district in the South Park neighborhood nearby to one of L.A.’s core working class neighborhoods.

In announcing its decision, the Lucas Foundation’s board of directors extolled the virtues of the urban park and its surrounding neighborhood, saying in a statement: “While each location offers many unique and wonderful attributes, South Los Angeles’s Promise Zone best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community, fulfilling our goal of inspiring, engaging, and educating a broad and diverse visitorship.”

In an effort to preserve the park’s green spaces, the selected scheme will include public open space on its rooftop. Renderings for the proposal show the curvaceous museum located in a leafy, park setting topped with tufts of greenery. The museum also appears to gingerly touch the ground by coming down in a series of large, discrete piers.

It’s still unclear what sorts of developmental hurdles the museum will need to surpass prior to construction, but the project clearly has a fan in L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who after learning of the decision, remarked to the Los Angeles Times, “It’s a natural place to have this museum in the creative capital of the world and in the geographic center of the city. It’s a banner day for L.A.”

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Made to maximize views of L.A., this hillside house builds on midcentury modern traditions

Given Los Angeles–based architects Unruh Boyer’s expertise rehabilitating iconic midcentury modern homes, it is easy to see that the firm’s Rome House, perched on the hills of Los Angeles’s Glassell Park neighborhood, follows in the tradition of L.A.’s visionary residences.

Except that rather than designing an object to be admired from the valleys below, Unruh Boyer has designed a home that revolves around experiencing the outdoors from within the house. The 2,400-square-foot residence is designed around a collection of viewsheds that are used to anchor rooms to the city and nature beyond. These views can be accessed directly via the 320 square feet of balconies or simply through visual connections made from large casement and picture windows.

Not that the structure isn’t nice to look at itself. Partners Trish Boyer and Antony Unruh spent the last few years crafting this comfortable hillside residence. Clad in patterned, bronze-colored bonderized metal and punched openings suited perfectly to Boyer and Unruh’s tastes, the property is actually a speculative development—a problematic condition. “Basically, we designed the home we would want for ourselves, however, the unintended consequence is that it is difficult to part with.” 

The home’s spaces flow into one another in a familiar arrangement: A street-side garage is flanked by a front door that leads to an entry foyer and kitchen with an expansive, airy living room located just beyond, a few steps below the kitchen level. The kitchen, outfitted with utilitarian IKEA cabinets and Carrera marble countertops, opens out onto a side porch and terrace that leads down the sloping site. Floors in the kitchen-adjacent dining room are made up of rough-cut pieces of black slate, with a triumphal hearth separating the kitchen and living room with built-in wood shelving. The living room culminates in a pair of 7-by-10-foot barn-style exterior glass doors that open out onto a wraparound deck overlooking a terraced hillside planted with succulents and pepper trees.

The rest of the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home unfolds on the floor above, accessed by a stylized staircase made of Glulam construction. That floor is made up of a divisible two-bedroom configuration on one side that features a large, sliding room divider—an ode to the late, midcentury architect Gregory Ain, whose office Unruh Boyer currently uses as its own. The architects envision the space being used as either a pair of bedrooms or as a bedroom and office suite. Floors throughout the level are constructed out of glossy oriented-strand board. The master bedroom on the opposite side of the second floor features built-in closets and a large picture window overlooking the outstretched hills of Northeast Los Angeles.


Structural Engineering: Eric McCullum Engineering 310-944-0898

Metal Siding: The Tin Shop 323-263-4893 Framing: Amir Hassan, ACG Construction, Inc. 650-345-2082
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AIA Gold Medal–winner Paul Revere Williams: An African American architect who transformed L.A.’s modernist architecture

The Architect's Newspaper is partnering with USModernist to showcase its comprehensive archive of American modernist designers. This is the first post in a series that will highlight individual entries. Paul Revere Williams was a Los Angeles–born, African-American architect who had an outsize impact on the region’s architectural legacy. Williams graduated from the University of Southern California in 1914 and eventually went on to design over 3,000 buildings over his five-decade-long career. Los Angeles residents and visitors alike are likely familiar with the designer’s work, if not his name—a lasting legacy that only recently came into the spotlight. Williams was posthumously awarded the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2017 Gold Medal—the organization’s highest honor, “recognizing individuals whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture”—this year. For some, the recognition was thought to have come too late, especially in a field continually struggling with a lack of diversity. Lack of recognition does not detract from greatness, however, and Williams was a titan of American design through and through. As a young practitioner, he worked for architects Reginald Johnson and later John Austin, great architects in their own right. Williams became licensed in 1921, opening his own practice just a year later. He became the first African-American member of the AIA in 1923 and the first African-American AIA Fellow in 1957. Throughout his career, Williams worked across styles and locales, but it was his Modernist-style works that have persevered across time and still inspire us to this day. Williams is perhaps best known, inaccurately, for his collaboration with William Pereira, Charles Luckman, and Welton Becket on the Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport from 1961. The Googie-style building is considered to be among the most important midcentury modernist works in Los Angeles, though Williams did not help design it. The structure consists of a flat, disk-shaped observation and restaurant area suspended off the ground by a pair of intersecting, parabolic arches. Some of Williams’s work is located outside Los Angeles, as well, including his collaboration with architect Quincy A. Jones on the Palm Springs Tennis Club and the La Concha Motel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Williams was a virtuoso of architectural style, as best exemplified by the architect’s many residential projects. Williams’s efforts, attuned to Southern California’s finicky penchant for pastiche and historical revivalism, range in style from the Hollywood Regency to the Spanish Revival, and, of course, modernist treatments. Williams was responsible for extensive interior and exterior renovations to the famed Ambassador Hotel in 1949. The architect worked on several renovations and additions to the Beverly Hills Hotel during the 1940s, including the iconic facade showcasing the hotel’s name in fanciful script. Williams dabbled in socially-responsible work, too, and—along with Richard Neutra—was responsible for designing the garden city-inspired Pueblo del Rio public housing projects in 1941. In a testament to Williams's lasting legacy, eight of his works are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and many more are still standing across Southern California. To read more about Williams, see his USModernist entry.
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Details revealed for 269-foot-tall high rise in L.A.’s Koreatown

The proposal, referred to as 2900 Wilshire in the documentation and initially pitched as a 31-story tower, will contain 644 residential units, 10,000 square feet of commercial space, 5,500 square feet of restaurant space, and 1,124 parking stalls. Those parking stalls will be located in a six-story, above-ground parking podium that will also contain 724 bicycle parking spots. The project, designed by Los Angeles–based Large Architecture, will also contain 64,550 square feet of open spaces and amenities, including an expansive rooftop terrace. The new complex will be located across the street from Lafayette Park and will be but a few blocks from the Wilshire / Vermont subway stop on the city’s Purple and Red Lines, a confusing fact considering the high parking ratio for the project. Renderings included in the LADCP report indicate that the 269-foot tall, amorphous, L-shaped tower will feature rounded corners and be clad in a variegated pattern made up of glass walls and what look to be metal panels that will act as exaggerated mullions. The tower will sit atop an articulated parking and apartment podium and be set back from the street front along Wilshire Boulevard. The tower will come down to street level at the southern edge of the site, where it will meet the lot line at the sidewalk. The tower and apartments will be made up of 227 studio units, 293 one-bedroom units, and 124 two-bedroom units. The project marks another step in the steady increase in the number of high-density, large-scale mixed-use projects along the Wilshire Corridor as construction ramps up on the city’s Purple Line extension to Century City. A firm construction start date for 2900 Wilshire has not yet been announced, but the building is expected to finish construction 32 months after groundbreaking. Work on the Purple Line extension is well underway, with the first phase of the extension due to be completed in 2023.
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Billie Tsien to moderate keynote panel at Woodbury University’s interiors-focused Unmentionables Symposium

Woodbury University School of Architecture’s Department of Interior Architecture will be holding a two-day event in April called the Unmentionables Symposium. The event will celebrate the “unmentioned” territories of the contemporary interior design disciplines. The event—to be held April 7th and 8th at the Helms Design Center in Culver City, California —will focus on uncovering “new narratives for interior architecture” by “establishing a precedent for welcoming previously unmentioned ideas in spatial practice and theory,” according to a press release published by the symposium organizers. As the symposium’s moniker suggests, no topic will be off the table and, in fact, organizers hope to use the event to launch a “provocation for marginalia, taboos, illicit ideas, and undertheorized issues such as critical interiority and physical and virtual constructed environments,” with the overall aim of the symposia being to bring the new critical discourses surrounding interior architecture to light. The symposium is being held partially as a response to a recent increase in the prevalence and complexity of interior architecture discourse and the broadening of interdisciplinary conversations focused on problematizing the discipline in its own right, rather than merely looking at it as an ancillary topic to architecture. The symposia will be made up of a series of panel discussions and lectures and will feature a keynote panel discussion moderated by Billie Tsien, principal at the New York–based architecture firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. The keynote panel will include an introduction by Annie Chu as well as presentations by Virginia San Fratello, Sylvia Faichney, Molly Hunker and Greg Corso. For a full breakdown of the panel discussions and for registration information, see the Unmentionables Symposium website.
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L.A. at an affordability crossroads: Talking with housing activists Abundant Housing LA

A staggering 68.8% of Los Angeles voters in this week’s election pulled the lever against the anti-development initiative Measure S. Following the election—which, problematically, had a historically low turnout rate of 11.45%—there has been much debate within the anti-Measure S camp regarding what, if any, takeaways are to be had from the results. Taken together with this week’s passage of Measure H (an initiative focused on raising sales tax to fund housing assistance and development for formerly homeless individuals) and the passage of the transit-friendly Measure M and Measure HHH (a municipal bond-funded proposal to build 10,000 new supportive housing units, passed last November), the defeat of Measure S might suggest an electorate doubling down on a vision for a dense, equitable, and urban Los Angeles. The elephant in the room is that Los Angeles is one of the most unaffordable major cities in the world, an issue that has come to the forefront of civic discourse there as rents have increased year over year to the detriment of many deeply-rooted communities. The pro-Measure S side argued to some success that systematic corruption in the development community was fueling the production of luxury units. Those new luxury developments, Measure S proponents argued, were being pursued at the expense of rent-controlled housing in L.A.’s core communities. The “no” camp fought back by arguing that passage of Measure S would depress housing production so much that rents would grow worse still. In the end, the opposing argument—that the best way to keep rents from going any higher was to not hinder the development of more units—won out. Central in the efforts to fight Measure S was the relatively new group, Abundant Housing LA, a local collective of pro-housing advocates dedicated to building more housing of all types in the Los Angeles area. The self-described Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) group fought Measure S the old fashioned way: phone banking, canvassing, and online activism, all to much success. The Architect’s Newspaper (AN) caught up with Mark Vallianatos, communications director for Abundant Housing to discuss the election results and what Los Angeles can make of the recent election results. AN: Now that Measure S has been defeated, what are some ways Abundant Housing LA plans to harness the growing momentum for a denser, transit-oriented Los Angeles? Abundant Housing LA was formed to advocate for more housing of all types (affordable, market rate, permanent supportive, co-ops, etc). We support good projects and better policies and have grown rapidly, showing that there was a pent-up demand for an active YIMBY group in L.A. Measure S forced us to switch gears. We focused on campaigning against it because it threatened to hurt Angelenos by raising rents even higher and by forcing more people, especially the working poor and younger residents, to leave L.A. We are now excited to get back to our positive agenda of advancing housing. We will continue to support good developments that expand the number of homes in the city without displacing residents. And we hope to expand advocacy for better plans and policies. We are already engaged on a few transit and community plan updates, and will try to do more if the city follows through on accelerating community plans. We need these new plans to reverse the downzoning that has led to low vacancy rates and high housing costs. This is a tough sell, not just due to local opposition, but because planners are wary of adding more capacity than required to meet projected population growth. We also want to improve and simplify planning and entitlement processes so it is easier to construct housing in the region. AN: Ballot box Planning initiatives like Measure S have a long and problematic history in California and in Los Angeles, particularly. Is it time to revisit some of our legacy initiatives like Proposition U? Yes, we see upzoning of commercial corridors as key to allowing more space for housing without removing older rent stabilized apartments. We also want to figure out how to allow more new housing in existing residential areas. This requires a balance of preservation and allowing ‘missing middle’ housing types, so that not all new units have to fit into commercial and industrial sites. AN: There has been lots of debate recently regarding Los Angeles's lack of affordable housing, including potential measures to fund its development by taxing the construction of market-rate units. Where does Abundant Housing stand in this debate? We strongly support identifying more local funding for the construction and preservation of deeded affordable housing. We supported City of L.A. Measure HHH, for example. We are on record opposing the proposed linkage fee because it taxes the construction of housing to pay for housing. We proposed that the City identify alternative sources of funds such as a parcel tax that are A) more board based and B) do not discourage new housing. Fees on parking and/or real estate recording may also be good sources of money that do not put the burden on home construction. AN: What role (if any) is Abundant Housing LA playing with regards to housing development affiliated with the expansion of the transit system? We have begun advocating on the City of L.A.’s new transit neighborhood plans as well as Community Plans in areas with expanding transit. Our initial advocacy focuses on the Expo Corridor Transit Neighborhood Plan and DTLA 2040. We also plan to advocate around the transit neighborhood plans being developed for the purple and orange lines. For each of these plans, we encourage the city to significantly upzone to take advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity of the re-establishment of rail transit in L.A. County. We also encourage density bonuses to incentivize affordable units. AN: What role can architects play in Abundant Housing LA's mission? We welcome L.A. area architects as members and/or as resources on urban design. Most of our advocacy to date has been in the City of L.A., and we have aspirations to do more in other cities in L.A. County. We rely on members to be local advocates in their neighborhood or city. In addition to encouraging more housing, we are also interested in allowing and encouraging more types and scales of development, as well as innovative construction methods, in order to expand housing choice, reflect the diversity of the region, and encourage good urban form. We would welcome architects’ expertise on housing typologies, planning and building codes, and other insights on how L.A. can add housing, enhance quality of life, adapt to climate change, and support civic culture. As a relatively new volunteer organization, we get work done by empowering members to take the lead on projects that they are passionate about. We would welcome architects’ expertise. For more on Abundant Housing LA, see their website.
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The new L.A. Rams stadium will be breathable beyond belief

There are a few holes in HKS's stadium design for the Los Angeles Rams. In fact, there are 20 million. By numbers HKS has gone big: The $2.66 billion, 70,000-seater-stadium will use more than 36,000 panels of which will have 20 million perforations punched into them.

Dallas-based HKS prescribed an aluminum and ETFE skin to create a triangular facade-cum-canopy over and around the playing field where the Los Angeles Rams are set to play. Triangular panels form the structure too. Made from aluminum, the metal portion of the skin responds to the variable SoCal climate without the need for a HVAC system. Additionally, an ETFE ellipse, located in the center of the roof bathes the playing field in diffuse daylight. The desired effect, HKS said, is to create the impression of being outside.

A Design Assist project with facade fabricator Zahner Metals, HKS used their research and development arm, HKS LINE (the latter acronym stands for "Laboratory for INtensive Exploration") to aid the development of the stadium's skin. James Warton, a computational designer at HKS, spoke to The Architect's Newspaper, about the process used to conceive the facade.

Warton explained that the holes inside the in the triangular panels form an image on the facade, which can be seen properly when approaching the stadium from afar. Due to fabrication logistics and schedule, "only" 20 million perforations could be made with a required minimum distance of half-an-inch between each one. To get around this, though, eight different hole sizes were used to allow perforations to fall neatly in line with the panel's edge as well as enhance the facade's pattern.

To do this, a strategy using, Grasshopper, Rhino, C++ and Visual Studio was conceived which let HKS LINE determine perforation density and mapping. "Perforation sizes corresponding to grayscale values within the source image are also mapped onto the panel," said Warton. "We had to think of a system that would enable us to see every bit of information about every tile. This information is translated into text that can be used to make the panel."

The stadium, when completed in 2019, will be the world’s most expensive. James Warton will be speaking at the next Facades+ conference in New York April 6+7. There he and other members of HKS will discuss the Los Angeles Rams stadium and its facade in further detail. Seating is limited. To register, go to

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Los Angeles completes purchase of 42-acre L.A. River-adjacent parcel

The City of Los Angeles recently closed escrow the G2 parcel, a 42-acre strip of land adjacent to the Los Angeles River that will be revitalized as a publicly accessible nature preserve and flood control area as part of the L.A. River’s long-term restoration. The parcel represents the last sizable holding leftover from the 250-acre Taylor Yard site along the river’s eastern banks adjacent to the Cypress Park neighborhood and across from the bustling Frogtown neighborhood. Taylor Yard, a large, river-adjacent industrial lot formerly owned by the Union Pacific Railroad, has been systematically disassembled over the years. Those other portions of Taylor Yard have been turned into the Rio de Los Angeles State Park, the Sonia Sotomayor Learning Academies, and the Taylor Yard Transit Village. Acquisition of the G2 parcel allows the city to connect two adjacent, State-owned parks: the Rio de Los Angeles State Park and the Bowtie parcel. This will create, once the G2 Parcel’s revitalization is complete, a roughly mile-long riverfront access frontage for the surrounding community. In a press release celebrating the G2 Parcel’s acquisition, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “We’ve always considered G2 to be the crown jewel in our vision to revitalize the L.A. River, and that’s why I have been committed to fighting for the resources to finally return this land to the people of Los Angeles and the wildlife that call it home.” The parcel marks a key step forward for the complex and contentious L.A. River restoration projects that aim to revitalize the concrete-lined flood control channel. It was announced last year that Mia Lehrer and Associates, Oyler Wu Collaborative, and Gruen and Associates would extend the river-adjacent bike path that runs along the banks opposite from the G2 Parcel into the San Fernando Valley. That project would add about 12 miles of riverfront bike paths and further the city’s goal of developing bicycle trails along the river’s entire 51-mile length. Gehry Partners has also been working on a master plan for the river since 2016. Gehry’s planning efforts are being pursued in tandem with the city’s adopted Alternative 20 plan, a proposal that calls for the restoration of an 11-mile stretch of the river north of Downtown Los Angeles. The Alternate 20 plan relies on stitching together a series of river-adjacent plots—including the G2 Parcel and Piggyback Yard in Downtown Los Angeles—in tandem with the restoration of the river channel itself. Next steps for the restoration of the G2 Parcel include site remediation in coordination with the State’s Department of Toxic Substances Control as well as planning efforts aimed at making the site more accessible to the public.
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Corgan and Gensler adding new international concourse at LAX

Architecture firms Corgan and Gensler, along with operator Los Angeles World Airports, broke ground yesterday on a new, 12 gate, $1.6 billion concourse expansion aimed at boosting the super-jumbo airplane handling capabilities at Los Angeles International Airport’s (LAX) Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). The project, known at the Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) will connect to the existing and recently-expanded TBIT via a pair of underground tunnels, complete with three sets of moving sidewalks. One of the tunnels will be used by passengers exclusively while the second will be utilized by the airport for operational services. Once traveling through the tunnel, passengers will emerge inside the new terminal, where the new gates—two of which are specially designed to accommodate the next generation Airbus 380 super jumbo and Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jets—await. The expansion will include 50,000 square feet of gateway space, including 44,000 square feet of “L.A.-centric dining and shopping options,” according to a press release issued by Gensler. The new concourse will also feature 60,000 square feet of airline lounges, two nursing rooms, a service animal relief area, and children’s play areas that will be integrated into the spaces surrounding the boarding gates. In addition to the leisure and waiting areas described above, the expansion includes the 85,000-square-foot Baggage Optimization Project that will add a new baggage handling facility to the airport. The new facility will include an 11,000-square-foot tunnel to along the north side of the structure as well as a 45,000 square foot tunnel along the eastern edge that will connect to the airport’s baggage conveyance systems. The new concourse is designed to mimic the wave-inspired geometries of TBIT and features a linear collection of curved roof structures studded with clerestory lights. The spaces within the new concourse are designed to maximize daylighting as well as ease of movement through the waiting and leisure areas, with a special emphasis on maintaining sightlines between these spaces and the departure gates. GKKWorks will act as associate architect on the project. The project is expected to be operational by 2019 and fully completed by 2020.
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Los Angeles wants to make developers pay for affordable housing

The Los Angeles City Council is set to consider the Affordable Housing Linkage Fee (AHLF), a new ordinance that would tax certain types of new residential and commercial construction across the city in order to fund a generation of new, deed-restricted affordable housing units as well as refurbish existing affordable housing stock. The plan—approved Thursday with a few tweaks by the City Planning Commission and now headed toward consideration of the full City Council—proposes to levy a linkage fee of $5.00 per square foot of new office, hotel, retail, and warehouse projects as well as a $12.00 per square foot fee on new residential construction. The fee would be administered by the City of Los Angeles and is expected to generate between $75 million to $92 million in funds each year earmarked toward the construction of new affordable housing units. The new levy represents the culmination of years of planning study aimed at alleviating the region's crippling housing crisis. It is thought that the Los Angeles region is deficient by nearly 500,000 housing units, a situation that has resulted in staggering rent increases over the last few years. To boot, the city has been gradually down-zoned to the detriment of housing production and has, for the last several decades, produced far fewer market-rate units than necessary to meet population growth. The result? Tightened supply and higher rents for everyone. A recent study by Adobo lists Los Angeles as having the fourth highest percentage of renters in the country; Los Angeles is also the largest city by far among the lists' top ten. Furthermore, a 2016 study by New York University’s Furman Center and CapitalOne found that nearly 60 percent of renting Angelenos pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent. Additionally, a whopping 33 percent of the overall total pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing.   The dearth in new market-rate units has put pressure on low-income and working class communities across the region. As high earners have been locked out of traditionally upscale and professional class areas, they have begun to scour working class neighborhoods for rental and ownership opportunities. And though few would argue that the city needs to produce fewer affordable housing units, there is fierce debate regarding whether taxing housing production is the right step to take considering the facts above. In a strongly-worded letter presented to the City Planning Commission, a group of academics and activists decried the linkage fee’s potentially depressing effects on market-rate housing production, saying, “The Nexus Study’s highly optimistic analysis projects enough revenues to create approximately 450 affordable units, though if L.A.’s analysis mirrors Oakland’s, there will be a greater number of market‐rate units lost—potentially 1.5‐2X the low‐income production. If these affordable production numbers are correct—and we question their accuracy, noting that no other city’s program has produced nearly this many units (San Francisco’s, for example, has produced only 89 per year)—then for every 450 low‐income units produced, up to 900 low‐income families will ultimately be displaced. How can public policy support such an outcome?” According to the authors of the letter, economically disadvantaged individuals and families across Los Angeles disproportionately live in market-rate housing. The authors argue that while the linkage fee would indeed facilitate the creation of new affordable units, the number of potential market-rate units it would preclude from being built—a figure that will not be tracked by the city and would be very difficult to discern in the first place—outweighs the benefit of the relatively few affordable units due to be created by the fee. The proposed fee is headed to the City Council and, if approved, would be implemented in later this year.
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Los Angeles Conservancy announces 2017 preservation awards

The Los Angeles Conservancy has selected eight recipients for the organization’s 2017 Preservation Awards. The annual designations, which celebrate “outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation,” are culled from across Los Angeles County and include physical structures as well as organizations and preservation-minded programs. This year’s Chairman’s Award was given to SurveyLA: The Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey, a program launched by the City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning and the J. Paul Getty Trust. It aims to survey the entirety of the City of Los Angeles’s historic heritage. The entities behind the program developed a special app that allows surveyors to digitally record survey information and photograph properties and artifacts through the use of a tablet. The survey examined over 800,000 land parcels and 500 square miles of land; the effort represents the largest survey of its kind ever completed by an American city. The survey, structured in correspondence with the city’s 35 Community Plan Areas, seeks to embed preservation awareness with the city’s planning apparatus. The LA Conservancy also made several project-based recognitions, including the recently completed redevelopment and expansion of the CBS Columbia Square complex by House & Robertson Architects, Inc. and Rios Clementi Hale Studios (RCH Studios). The Historic Resources Group served as preservation architect and consultant on the project, which sought to restore what was once the West Coast headquarters for radio and television broadcaster CBS. The restoration of the existing office, commercial, and broadcast structures will be supplemented by a large mixed-use addition located at the back of the site. CBS Columbia Square was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2009 and it is currently eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (though it has not yet been listed). A Cultural Landscape Report for the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, prepared by the arboretum, was also awarded project-based recognition. The report details an extensive survey and planning mechanism for the long-term maintenance and restoration of the complex which contains important works of architecture from the early 1900s and midcentury modern eras as well as ecologically- and culturally-important landscapes. The restoration of the Kinross Cornerstone building in Westwood was also recognized. The project was originally built in 1930 by noted architect Stiles O. Clements—who also designed the Wiltern building in Los Angeles—in the Spanish Revival Style. However, it suffered incompatible alterations in the 1960s and 1970s. The building also underwent a heavy-handed seismic retrofit in the 1990s. Architects Nadel, Inc. has performed a thorough restoration of the property. Frederick Fisher and Partners’ restoration of Glendale’s Grand Central Air Terminal—Los Angeles’s first commercial airport—received an award for its meticulous attention to detail. The project entailed converting certain existing portions of the complex into an events and business center as well as creating a new visitors center to educate the public on the site’s historic significance.   The Preservation Resource Center at the Shotgun House in Santa Monica was recognized for its dogged perseverance. The building, after having been relocated three times and being threatened with demolition, is Santa Monica’s only intact shotgun house and has been repurposed as the headquarters for the Santa Monica Conservancy. The conservancy also recognized the Los Angeles Public Library’s Valley Times Photograph Collection, a digitized archive of midcentury era photographs of the San Fernando Valley originally kept by The Valley Times newspaper, which ran in print from 1946 to 1970. Lastly, the Conservancy recognized the View Park Historic District National Register Nomination in South Los Angeles, one of the largest National Register historic districts in California, the largest district in the country relating to the history of African Americans, and home to the County’s first local landmark.   The awards will be presented at a luncheon on Wednesday, May 3 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
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New details revealed for Herzog & de Meuron’s $2 billion development in L.A.

Those holding their breath in anticipation of seeing Herzog & de Meuron’s 6AM project—developed by Irvine, California–based developer SunCal and located in Los Angeles’s booming Arts District neighborhood—anytime soon are in for a long wait. Why? Because according to a preliminary report filed with the Los Angeles City Planning Department (LACPD), the $2 billion development is not expected to be completed until 2035. As reported by Urbanize.LA, the multi-phase project (the firm’s first in Los Angeles) is due to ultimately contain, among other components, a pair of articulated, 58-story housing towers. The project’s initial environmental report indicates that 6AM will function like a small-scale city, complete with a large grocery store, arts spaces, offices, a school, and other diversely-programed amenities, all developed, according to the document, in “a range of building types and heights that are based on the existing building typologies” and crafted from “rough, ‘authentic’ and typical industrial construction materials.” The 2,824,245-square foot complex will ultimately contain a total of 1,305 apartments, 412 hotel rooms, 431 condominium units, 253,514-square-feet of office space, an approximately 29,316-square-foot school, approximately 127,609 square feet of community-serving retail, and 22,429 square feet of art space. The project will be organized as a porous, mid-rise, mixed-use district on the ground floor, with the arts programs, school, commercial areas, offices and live/work lofts organized in a set of gridded blocks topped by a 40-foot-tall concrete platform. The four-story-tall platform—articulated in renderings that accompany the report by square-shaped, exposed concrete piers—will act as a tabletop for a second layer of program to be located directly above, mainly apartments. Generally speaking, those apartments are to be organized along five of the six linear bands that run from north to south along the short dimension of the 15-acre site. The band closest to the Alameda Street-fronting towers will contain office spaces throughout. The apartment blocks will contain a mix of unit sizes, with a section along Mill Street dedicated to hotel uses. The apartments, like the two towers at the opposite end of the site along Alameda, will look down on the ground floor areas via a series of openings designed into the concrete tabletop structure. Those towers, made up of a bundled set or square floor plates arranged at staggered heights, will rise along Alameda Street beside a potential light rail line to be built to Artesia in southeast Los Angeles. The lowest section of the northern tower is also being designed to contain a hotel.
  • Building 1, located at the corner of 6th and Mill Street will contain a 152-room hotel and 22,429 square feet of arts programming. The 118-foot-tall structure will contain a hotel-focused “amenity deck” along the eighth floor. This building will also contain an undisclosed number of apartment units.
  • Building 2, also 118 feet tall, will contain 245 condominiums atop the platform and approximately 41,852 square feet of retail along the lower levels. It is anticipated that this block will contain the site’s aforementioned grocery store in the lower shopping area, as well as restaurants and live/work units. This block will contain residential amenities at the fourth level and along the rooftop.
  • Building 3 would rise to 110 feet in height and contain 532 apartments above the table top, with 62,966 square feet of retail functions underneath, including potentially, a food market hall, restaurants. The tabletop area is due to contain outdoor amenities, including a swimming pool. The under-table areas are also being designed to contain apartments and up to 21 live/work units.
  • Building 4 will house 251 apartments, 17 live/work units and a 29,316-square-foot school. The planning document indicates the school program may exist in any number of configurations, including as a private or hybrid private/public school and will serve up to 300 K-12 students.
  • Building 5 will rise to 126 feet in height and will contain 253,514-square feet of office uses.
  • Building 6 would rise 58 stories to a maximum height of 732 feet and would include 186 condominiums, 260 hotel rooms and 7,020 square feet of retail that will share the below-table areas with residential and hotel lobby areas.
  • Building 7 will rise to 710 feet in height and will include 522 apartment units and 7,228 square feet of commercial areas.
The building is also due to contain a whopping 3,441 parking stalls, as well as 298 short term and 1,889 long-term bicycle parking spaces. Mia Lehrer & Associates will be providing landscape architecture services for the project, while AC Martin will serve as executive architect. 6AM is expected to be built in three phases starting around 2018.