Posts tagged with "West Hollywood":

Placeholder Alt Text

Sinuous, twisting hotel tower coming to L.A.’s Sunset Strip

According to recently-submitted documentation, a sinuous hotel tower designed by Culver City–based R&A Design slated for the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California is one step closer to coming to fruition. Developer Charles Company recently submitted the project—located at 9034 Sunset Boulevard—for approval by the City of West Hollywood. If built as planned, the 19-story tower-and-podium complex will include 185 hotel rooms, 17,000 square feet of hotel-related banquet and event spaces, 5,700-square feet of retail space, a 7,500-square-foot restaurant, and a 915-square-foot art gallery. The project also calls for 550 parking stalls to be located in a four-story underground parking garage. The project would also include 14 apartment units and a helipad on its roof, Wehoville reports. The so-called Sunset Tower project is set back from the street and is located on a 1.3-acre T-shaped lot. The tower portion of the project features curved and rotating floor plates that project beyond the building envelope to create outdoor spaces as the floors rise and shift in position. Renderings for the project also depict the tower’s upper levels with much taller floor-to-floor heights, indicating that those levels will likely contain public spaces. The project’s retail and restaurant uses will be organized within a three-story podium structure that will meet the sidewalk. The podium structure is depicting as having a rooftop pool and other amenity spaces. The hotel tower complex comes as the West Hollywood area continues to add sizable numbers of new hotel complexes on and around Sunset Boulevard. Neil M. Denari Architects recently proposed a 91-unit hotel for a nearby site that features black metal panel cladding. A hugely controversial hotel tower project by Gehry Partners is slated for 8150 Sunset Boulevard and has been held up with lawsuits and community outcry for its height as well as the developer’s plans to tear down an iconic mid-century modern bank that currently occupies the site. A timeline for approval of the Sunset Tower project has not been announced.
Placeholder Alt Text

Renderings revealed for LOHA’s faceted 30-unit condominium complex in West Hollywood

Architects Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) and owner National Construction have released renderings for a new 30-unit condominium complex in West Hollywood that features cantilevered corners, faceted facades, and perforated metal panel and wood cladding. The four-story complex at 1030 N. Kings Road is located in the same neighborhood as the firm’s much-heralded Habitat 825 complex. 1030 N. Kings Road is designed to break down in scale as it rises and features a series of geometric cut-outs along its facades. The cut-outs establish viewsheds for individual units while also allowing for natural daylight to flood into the building’s common areas, which include a shared gym and communal seating spaces. The cut-outs also contain screened outdoor balconies and terraces accessible to building units. The development’s two large amenity spaces are located along the building’s most prominent facades, which are wrapped in the various cladding types. Renderings for the project depict a faceted housing block with large windows, a double-height entry lobby, and well-lit corridors. The 41,500-square-foot project comes as LOHA expands its footprint in the L.A’s bustling multifamily housing sector. The firm recently completed work on a starburst-shaped apartment complex in Los Angeles. In addition to moving forward on the 1030 N. Kings Road project, Lorcan O'Herlihy will also be presenting at AN's Facades+ conference in Los Angeles this October. See the Facades+ website for more information. The project is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in mid- to late-2018.
Placeholder Alt Text

Neil Denari designs nine-story West Hollywood hotel development

Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA) has unveiled renderings for a new mixed-use hotel and apartment complex in West Hollywood, California that features filleted corners, tapered walls, and wedge-shaped windows. The midrise block would bring a 91-key hotel as well as eight apartments to a corner site along the city’s La Brea Avenue corridor. The somewhat sleepy quadrant of the city that has seen renewed investment interest in recent years, especially from the hotel industry, Wehoville reports. NMDA’s proposal rises nine stories and is arranged with its tallest levels hugging the street. The hotel’s double-loaded corridor configuration is supplemented along lower levels by the building’s parking podium, which wraps around the hotel program, taking up the entirety of the site. The four-level podium is topped by an amenity deck that contains a swimming pool and lounge, among other uses.   The building also features ground floor retail spaces that are set back from the sidewalk and exist below overhanging building elements. The structure is supported by large piers along the street that carve up storefront spaces and demarcate the building’s lobby areas. The tower’s facade is studded with gridded, floor-to-ceiling window assemblies that are interrupted by alternating vertical window bands. The exterior of the structure is clad in what appear to be black metal panels. NMDA’s proposal would take over an existing car garage and would help to spread development southward from the city’s bustling Sunset Boulevard, where Gehry Associates is attempting to build its controversial 8150 Sunset project. Gehry’s project has drawn community ire for being perceived as too tall for the area and for not having enough parking. Initial reaction to NMDA’s hotel has been more muted, however, with Gwynne Pugh, principal of Urban Studio—West Hollywood’s urban design consultant—giving the project positive marks, saying, “this building will act as a significant marker and gateway into the city of West Hollywood. In addition, the choice of color, a dark grey, really creates an eye-catching and slightly foreboding vision.” A timeline for the project has not been announced.
Placeholder Alt Text

11-unit apartment complex coming to West Hollywood

The West Hollywood Planning Commission (WHPC) has approved a small-scale, 11-unit apartment building designed by Culver City-based R&A Architecture+Design. The project is designed as an intimate courtyard apartment complex, with a series of two- and three-bedroom units organized around a central, shared open space. The dispersed masses of the complex are clad in a variety of surface materials, including corrugated sheets of aluminum, vertically-oriented wood siding, and expanses of glass. The more solid sections of the building are studded with punched openings that signal windows, doorways, and passageways into the courtyard in a manner that corresponds to the surrounding low-level density of the neighborhood. Units in the project average 1,585-square feet in size, according to a press release, and are connected to various types of outdoor spaces, including rooftop gardens and balconies. The project is designed to facilitate natural cross-ventilation via the courtyard, exterior staircases, and unit doors that are clad in louvers and screens. The units are also designed with concrete floors throughout that will act as thermal massing for each home. Christian Robert, principal at R&A explained the contextual massing of the project in a press release, saying, “(the) segmented massing respects the scale of nearby homes. As architects, we thoughtfully pay attention to the context and work to maintain the community spirit.” The intense contextual focus of the project is no mistake on the part of the designers, as the project comes on the heels of several controversial developments in the city, like the Gehry Associates-designed 8150 Sunset project. Recent, density-oriented projects have rankled locals in the densifying municipality and across the Los Angeles region. Los Angeles voters recently defeated a controversial and anti-development measure that sought to curb new housing production in the city, but a weariness toward dense development has taken root nonetheless. Construction on the R&A Design project is scheduled to begin spring 2018.  
Placeholder Alt Text

Hodgetts+Fung redesign project to save gay culture landmark in West Hollywood

A recently-revamped proposal for new retail and hotel project in West Hollywood by Los Angeles-based architects Hodgetts+Fung and West Hollywood-based developer Faring Capital has taken a turn toward preservation. The proposal originally intended to demolish a historic gay culture monument occupying the site of the Robertson Lane project, replacing the structure with a pedestrian-oriented, 250-room hotel and retail complex. That monument, known as “The Factory,” is a formerly-industrial brick structure built in 1929 to house manufacturing facilities for the Mitchell Camera Corporation. After the camera film manufacturer relocated their operations in the 1946, it underwent a series of transformations, eventually being converted in 1974 into a gay nightclub called Studio One. The discotheque become a safe space for the gay community during an era which inclusive, open environments were scarce. It also was seen as a beacon for rising consciousness, when it hosted the country’s first major AIDS research fundraiser in 1984. The Factory was listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's “11 Most Endangered Historic Places” list in 2015 alongside New York City’s South Street Seaport and the Grand Canyon. The designation, a powerful tool for moving public opinion toward preservation, no doubt helped the developer’s position toward the structure evolve to incorporate reuse. Hodgetts+Fung’s revised plans involve moving and rotating the structure 90 degrees so that it’s longest facade is aligned with the streetfront. Under this arrangement, The Factory will become the entry point for a paseo bisecting the site, instead of being demolished by it. A timeline for the project has not been released.
Placeholder Alt Text

Zaha Hadid, Gensler, and more, vying in Sunset Strip billboard competition

The Sunset Strip, a 1.5 mile stretch of West Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard, has established a reputation for eye-catching billboards. Attempting to magnify this, city authorities issued a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) for "The Sunset Strip Spectacular Pilot Creative Off-Site Advertising Sign" on 8775 Sunset Boulevard. Subsequently, a select number of teams were solicited to "design a technologically advanced, engaging, one-of-a-kind, billboard structure... The Sunset Strip Spectacular should inspire a 21st century vision with contemporary digital and interactive technologies, media and multi-dimensional graphic design." From this, nine applications were submitted and four were selected for further deliberation: JCDecaux and Zaha Hadid Project Management Ltd.; Orange Barrel Media/Tom Wiscombe Architecture/MoCA; Outfront Media/Gensler/MAK Center; and Tait Towers Inc. The proposals feature a range of ideas from kinetic design to viewer engagement through social media platforms and strategy for an adjacent multi-use public square. In Hadid's design, titled The Prism, the billboard becomes a civic gateway operating as a an "innovative, captivating hybrid environment." The sculptural brushed aluminum form, in classic Hadid style, twists elegantly as it rises into the air. Nearby, a public plaza uses shaded seating, drought-tolerant landscaping, and various lighting techniques to create a tranquil environment. Gensler, working alongside Outfront Media, have put forward an "unfolding sunset." Its series of moveable panels create an illusory experience that blends adverts with art, performance, and social media, coalescing into a single image as viewers travel toward and past the billboard. Tom Wiscombe, on the other hand, aims to reinterpret the classical billboard of old. "Our design is a vertically-oriented, three-dimensional media monolith, in contrast to the ubiquitous flat, horizontal billboards of the strip," the design team said in their proposal. Using LED technology, high-resolution systems, and an array of lighting devices, social media content will be displayed while the billboard promotes events and shows art curated by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA). Interestingly, only one quarter of the billboard's surface area will be used to display commercial content. Finally, the most unique design is the aptly named Spectacular by TAIT. It features a rotating billboard that's meant to mimic the bow-ties worn at the Sunset Strip's infamous black-tie clubs of the 1930 and '40s. The billboard is set to display both static and animated content using multimedia commercials.
Placeholder Alt Text

Gwyneth Paltrow hires Gensler to design private Hollywood club to rival SohoHouse

Golden Globe–winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow has unveiled plans for a private club in West Hollywood with a design by California-based Gensler. "The Arts Club," as it will be known, is touted to cost $3,000 a year, and will occupy a 132,000-square-foot plot. The club includes a wellness center, night club, selection of restaurants, creative office space, gallery, cinema, and 15 guest rooms. A multi-story underground parking garage will also be located on Hilldale Avenue. The club hopes to emulate the successes of the SohoHouse private club that originated in London in 1995. SohoHouse has since expanded to New York, Chicago, and West Hollywood. According to Curbed LA, the club will take the place of the former Hustler building on the Sunset Strip. That structure, owned by Larry Flynt, had occupied the space for 18 years. The adult magazine will move its offices to Hollywood Boulevard. In a marked transition, Paltrow has reportedly deemed the club a no swearing zone.

As for Gensler's design, the nine-story building uses a vertical aluminum fin system that pivots upon axial fittings attached to the building's facade. Besides the aforementioned amenities, the rooftop terrace will be the building's main attraction, offering a luxury pool with a view over L.A.

Paltrow's dream isn't quite ready for construction yet, however, as the proposal still awaits permission for various aspects of design, notably the structure's height.
Placeholder Alt Text

On View> Mapping the Information Age: Microchips become high art at the Pacific Design Center

If the adage is true that “God is in the details,” then the current exhibition at Christopher W. Mount Gallery in West Hollywood might grant the venue some status as a holy site. On view through January 20, 2016,  in the second floor space of the Pacific Design Center’s “Blue Whale” and entitled Mapping the Information Age, the exhibition is comprised of a collection of thirteen large, intricately detailed and color-coded microchip circuitry diagrams, framed and accompanied by a projected slideshow of historic imagery from the companies that produced many of the prints, such as Intel Corporation, Synaptics, Inc., and Hewlett-Packard, among others. “The complexity is appealing,” said gallery director Christopher Mount, as he discussed the strong impression conveyed through the diagrams. “There’s rigor here, even if we don’t understand it.” The diagrams, upwards of four to six feet wide, were used by microchip engineers and designers if something went wrong in the development process. “If you were designing a chip and it just wasn’t working, you’d bring these out,” said Mount. “Somebody would make sure that the memory was connected in the right way. You would spend days with them.” Mount, who has curated exhibitions at MOCA and LACMA, and held directorial positions at the Pasadena Museum of California Art and Parsons, first became interested in the prints while working on an exhibition at MoMA in 1990 that was organized by Cara McCarty, titled Information Art: Diagramming Microchips. The prints currently on view at Mount’s gallery were culled from that show. The collection engages with a discussion about the status of the drawing in contemporary design practices. The idea that such visually substantial prints, which are well suited to the gallery context, are the outcome of technological troubleshooting or routine “debugging” processes on the part of the microchip makers, raises questions about the expectations that we generally have of drawings. Designers and architects often use drawings to present idyllic possibilities, usually before the constraints of reality have come to bear on the design. The visually intricate microchip diagrams, however, are themselves the outcome of an error, a means to visualize and correct a problem. “These were not intended as art,” Mount noted. “But as functional design drawings.” For Mount, the question of authorship is another complicating factor: “People walk in here all the time and say, 'So, who’s the artist?' And I have to explain: 'Well, it’s Hewlett-Packard, or it’s Intel, or it’s Rockwell Technologies.'” The visual abstractions captured in the diagrams suggest a number of interesting and alternative readings. Mount recalled that some visitors see patterns for textiles, others see architectural plans. “They look like cityscapes, or any kind of urban complex.” he said. “They have the spirit of Corbusier.” In the precisely ordered, nanoscale grid of the plans, the viewer can read systems and interactions at a scale that is more relatable to everyday life; imagining some processor components as parking garages, others as apartments, and the green spaces in-between as parks. “The colors are all particular to the companies,” he explained, but are generally used to convey the visual depth and order of how the components would be stacked. “The lightest colors go deeper, the darker colors are higher up on the chip.” The diagrams might also reveal a sense of collective anxiety about how little we actually understand about computational processes. As smart devices occupy more of our time and attention, how important are the inner workings that these “black boxes” obscure? “We all use a computer every day, but you forget that this is the thing inside,” Mount said of the processor components. “People forget that in 1990 these were brand new.” Because desktop computers and microchip processors were less common twenty-five years ago, there tended to be a greater appreciation for the efforts and outcomes in the development of computer hardware.“Now, I think everybody comes in and recognizes them as microprocessors.” The computational complexity seems to be taken for granted, which means viewers are more interested in the formal qualities of the diagrams. Perhaps the shift from technological wizardry to mundane ubiquity is the neglected aspect of the information age that demands a more detailed mapping. As such, the diagrams on display might also reveal something about how we relate to designed objects more broadly. “I think everyday things aren’t appreciated,” said Mount of the objects that we often take for granted. “I’ve always been a real advocate for design.I like the fact that it’s available to everyone. I like the idea of a calculator that’s wonderful to look at and makes you happy, and can sit on your desk for twenty-five dollars.”
Placeholder Alt Text

On View> When the Future had Fins: American Automotive Designs and Concepts, 1959-1973

When the Future had Fins: American Automotive Designs and Concepts, 1959-1973 Christopher West Mount Gallery, Pacific Design Center 8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA Through May 20 Once upon a time the American car industry was king. Nothing captures the prestige, aspirations, and mythology of Detroit’s heyday quite like the working sketches and drawings used to develop and promote the land boats we used to call automobiles. _DSC3420-copy A new show at Christopher W. Mount Gallery focuses on sketches from designers at the “Big Three”—General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler—from 1959 to 1973, when those companies were as important as Google, Apple, and Facebook. The sleek, colorful cars with their dynamic angles and large hoods capture the sexiness and muscle that is long gone in today’s car culture. Visionaries like Ford’s John Samsen and GM’s Bill Michalak had a mastery and an expressive craftsmanship on paper that is far removed from the digitized and sanitized world of 21st century rendering.
Placeholder Alt Text

On View> Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake MAK Center 835 North Kings Road West Hollywood, California Through January 4, 2015 The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 devastated the island nation, setting off a tsunami that destroyed over 300 miles of coastline, causing the failure of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and leaving more than 20,000 people dead and 470,000 without homes. The severe damage from the catastrophe propelled architects to take action, swiftly and creatively, as illustrated in a new exhibit, Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Faced with the slow moving bureaucracy of the government response, a number of architects—including Manabu Chiba, Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (of Atelier Bow-Wow), Senhiko Nakata, Osamu Tsukhashi, and Riken Yamamoto—decided to take matters into their own hands and work with local communities to rebuild, using a myriad of design solutions. Through this grassroots movement, the show explores how architects can jumpstart and participate in recovery efforts following a natural disaster.
Placeholder Alt Text

Rios Clementi Hale’s IAC lattice tilts the traditional green roof on its side in West Hollywood

What's a cross between a green roof and a living wall? IAC, the company that brought you Frank Gehry's billowing building by the High Line in New York, is commissioning Rios Clementi Hale to "drape" its white brick building on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood with a six-story sculptural steel lattice—like a living roof turned 45 degrees— containing native plantings irrigated by recaptured underground water. Tall vertical troughs will protrude as much as 14 feet from the building face. At ground level a public space will be added to the building's entry plaza, fitted with steel-plated benches and bike racks. On the west side of the structure, the grid will flatten to become a green roof over a new restaurant. The installation's native plants will be chosen by Paul Kephart of planted roof specialists Rana Creek. At night the gridded structure will be lit from behind, so light will shine through the plants. The project, already under construction, is expected to be completed later this year. 
Placeholder Alt Text

Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects Bends Billboards On The Sunset Strip

Are you an architect seeking a growth sector? How about billboards? A trailblazing firm in this field is Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects (LOHA), who recently designed a new 68-foot-tall sign at Sunset and La Cienega on the Sunset Strip for the City of West Hollywood and Ace Advertising. Instead of the usual featureless, boxy armature, LOHA has designed a blue, wishbone-shaped, steel structure that one could even call (gasp) sexy. Its meandering, tubular shape also brings to mind snaking traffic in the area. The structure's torque was achieved using massive gas pipeline bending machines. "Infrastructure doesn't have to be marginalized," O'Herlihy said. "Why not glorify the structure?" The firm is now planning two more signs in the billboard-heavy area, at 8462 Sunset and 9015 Sunset. One tall and thin sign folds like origami and incorporates seating into its bottom-most curve; the other bends back forcefully as if trying to escape from the street. Coincidentally LOHA is collaborating with SOM on a large mixed-use project (containing residential, hotel, and retail) just across the street from their new billboard, Sunset-La Cienega. Between the signs and the buildings, we've considered nicknaming the area Lorcan-ville.