Posts tagged with "Rios Clementi Hale":
Columbia Square articulates a pragmatic vision for the future of Hollywood as a mixed-use, creative capital that pays homage to its past without sacrificing density. The original International Style Columbia Square Studios complex, designed by architect William Lescaze in 1938, was used by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) as a West Coast base of operations when most Americans received news and entertainment via radio. The then-state-of-the-art studios and soundstages put Hollywood on the map as an entertainment center and were in continuous use until 2007. The development was acquired by Kilroy Realty in 2012, which renovated and expanded the complex with Rios Clementi Hale Studios and House & Robertson serving as architects and with Historic Resources Group as preservation architects.
The complex originally greeted Sunset Boulevard with a roundabout driveway and a collection of storefronts. The studios were located in the five-story Radio building. A series of ancillary structures located behind the driveway and above the retail spaces contained soundstages and offices, respectively. These components—including the operable, historic steel-frame ribbon windows cladding the original buildings—have been restored beautifully. The driveway has been closed off and transformed into a pedestrian plaza, an original grass roundabout updated and replanted with native sedges and artwork.
The Radio building now housesthe Los Angeles outpost of NeueHouse, a private arts-focused cultural club. An existing warehouse was reconstructed and reprogrammed as a 15,000-square-foot office space called Studio BC, while new office and apartment towers rise around a central courtyard toward the rear of the complex. That wooden bow-truss structure was formerly used as a sound stage and has been partially deconstructed—the existing truss is preserved as an architectural relic while the new structure rising around it has been designed with expressed steel truss elements that support a curvilinear roof. The new space features a spacious interior design by Rapt Studios, including an open, glass-clad mezzanine-level conference room.
“We created Studio BC as a memory to the original bowstring truss building,” said Bob Hale, principal of RCH Studios. “We put the required [office and studio] programs in and configured it so it could be used as a commercial space as well.”
A gridded office tower known as the Gower Building rises above and behindStudio BC: The dual-core, 250,000-square-foot structure presents a relatively generic collection of office spaces outfitted with alternating panes of opaque and translucent glass that complement the Radio building’s horizontal ribbon windows. The five-story block rises on a row of circular concrete columns and, toward the northern edge of the site, features terraced sections that have been individually branded by new tenants.
The heart of the campus is the central, multilevel plaza that contains an amphitheater and connects the complex to surrounding streets via a series of pedestrian access points. The plaza also functions as a water-collection system that uses a raised platform to filter water through various vegetated swales and planters. Paved in an abstract geometric pattern, the expanses tie together the site’s requirements—flexible social connectivity spaces, rainwater filtration areas, and a pedestrian-focused connectivity to the surrounding neighborhoods—while utilizing a subdued and comfortable material palette.
Opposite the Gower Building is another blocky structure referred to as the El Centro Building, a 106,000-square-foot single-core structure containing several floors of creative offices designed with higher floor-to-floor heights and exposed ceilings. The El Centro Building also contains a 5,500-square-foot terrace overlooking the plaza that will shine as a social space when fully built out and occupied.
Topping off the complex is the Hollywood Proper Residences, a 21-story faceted tower containing 200 high-end apartments. The tower design includes work by GBD Architects and features interior designs by Kelly Wearstler. The tower’s silhouette is patterned with alternating vertical bands of the same opaque and transparent curtain walls that clad the Gower Building. The housing tower, both in terms of height and program, establishes the project as a step forward in L.A.’s urban identity and signals a hint of things to come, with several other mixed-use high-rise projects due to appear around and behind historic structures nearby.
Hale, noting this trajectory and the countervailing increase in anti-development advocates in recent years, explained, “Hollywood is going to get more dense, but there is a lot of space here, too. To the degree we can make it a more active and interesting urban environment, that’s a benefit. It’s being built along transit, and integrated into the city. If people would let it happen that way, it’s going to.”
Rios Clementi Hale Studios uses nordic detailing for Habitat 6, a new L.A. “small-lot subdivision” development
Los Angeles–based architects Rios Clementi Hale Studios (RCH Studios), Riley Architects, and Integrated Development recently debuted Habitat 6, a collection of six new single-family homes in Los Angeles’s Los Feliz neighborhood.
The project is made possible by L.A.’s “small-lot subdivision” ordinance, a special land use maneuver instituted back in 2005 aimed at increasing the availability—and density—of single family housing across the city’s existing neighborhoods by allowing developers to subdivide existing lots into multiple properties to build collections of detached single-family residences. More controversially, the project is also the result of a protracted preservation struggle that resulted in the demolition of the Oswald Bartlett House, designed in 1914 by visionary Los Angeles architect Albert C. Martin. Applications for cultural monument status for the home were denied in 2014, paving the way for its demolition and replacement with RCH Studio’s units.
Bob Hale, partner at RCH Studios, described the difference between the design of a traditional single-family residence and a small-lot subdivision project: “The main issue here is that we have a single-family unit that’s part of a multi-family community, so engendering a sense of community in the overall project while maintaining sense of privacy for each of the units was one of the main objectives.”
As with most small-lot subdivision projects, Habitat 6’s site is organized around a central driveway used to access each unit’s two-car garage. In a nod to the normative tract house, each home features a small ground-floor yard. The homes range in size from 1,954 to 2,106 square feet and feature a flexible room on the ground floor, combined living room, kitchen, and dining areas along the second floor and two bedrooms, each with en-suite bathrooms, on the floor above.
Each home sits on a Douglas Fir wood-clad parking plinth, while the buildings’ exteriors are clad in expanses of white stucco interrupted by vertical bands of floor-to-ceiling punched picture windows. Some of these openings wrap the corners, while others are contained within wood-clad recessed and pop-out volumes. The units’ apertures are positioned such that neighboring homes do not face into one another. Inside, living room areas are designed with 10-foot ceiling heights (generous by Los Angeles standards), and feature clean, white walls accented with raw wood planks. Other interior finishes include marble countertops and backsplashes in the kitchen, and tile and board-formed concrete wall surfaces.
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2016 has been big for the Los Angeles River’s ongoing restoration process, as several of the multi-agency, intragovernmental urban water infrastructure projects surrounding its redevelopment have begun implementation.
The 51-mile-long concrete channel currently known as the L.A. River was created in 1938 as a flood control measure, and has been the site of steadily growing public interest for decades. Activist groups started gathering around the idea of river as a social justice cause for the city back in the 1980s, exploring its hidden potential for creating an urban oasis. River-focused landscape architects like Mia Lehrer and organizations like Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), founded in 1986 by poet, filmmaker, and writer Lewis MacAdams, have been at the forefront of river advocacy for years and are responsible for keeping the river in the public eye. But suddenly, the project has gained international notoriety both as the poster child for the post-World War II era’s ham-handed approach to urban hydrology, and, crucially, as an urban project the success of which could rewrite the future of America’s second-largest city.
In 2004, the City of Los Angeles founded a nonprofit group, L.A. River Revitalization Corporation, to wrangle the ever-growing constellation of river-related programs, and ultimately hired Frank Gehry and Associates, landscape firm OLIN, and Geosyntec Consultants to create a master plan. The team is currently in the midst of working through the initial study phases and has held a handful of community meetings across the region to discuss on-the-ground concerns and to gather ideas, in the process creating the L.A. River Index, an online resource for sharing information with the public. A preview of the L.A. River VR Experience, an initiative by media producers Camilla Andersson and Anders Hjemdahl at Pacific Virtual Reality and FoLAR, was released on October 8, timed with the organization’s 30th anniversary. The project is currently in the final stages of production and features a VR tour along the entire LA River.
Additionally, Gruen Associates, Mia Lehrer Associates, and Oyler Wu Collaborative were recently selected to design bike paths across the river’s length in the San Fernando Valley. Their project will link to the existing, popular path along the river running through the Frogtown neighborhood just north of Downtown Los Angeles. That particular area has been the site of highly partisan anti-gentrification battles, as the development community quickly began to take note of an impending windfall if the river becomes a desirable location. Housing projects have begun to sprout up around this neck of the river, which is surrounded by a mix of sleepy residential and industrial areas. A forthcoming project by Rios Clementi Hale Studios aims to bring 419 apartments, 39,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space, and 18 acres of open space to a river-adjacent site.
In Downtown Los Angeles, Michael Maltzan Architecture (MMA) is working toward beginning construction on their new vision for the Sixth Street Viaduct. The project will replace a structurally compromised bridge from 1932 currently under demolition. MMA aims to work in parallel with the bridge’s demolition, starting construction at the recently demolished eastern banks of the river and moving in the path of the old bridge. That project, a partnership with the City’s Bureau of Engineering, is being designed explicitly to facilitate community access to the river along both banks, and is due to be completed in 2019.
Whether it’s online, in virtual reality, or along the newly permeable banks of a beautified L.A. River, one thing is sure: L.A.’s River is changing very, very quickly.