Frank Gehry to Redesign the “Gateway to Sunset Strip”

AD Classics: Walt Disney Concert Hall / . Image © , LLP

An overlooked strip mall at the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights boulevards will soon be replaced by a mixed-use, walkable community designed by Frank Gehry. Known to be the “gateway to the Sunset Strip,” the West Hollywood site will be comprised of 249 apartments, restaurants, retail storefronts and a central plaza – all within “an environmentally sensitive building that complements and contributes to the historic architecture in the neighborhood.”

“Frank Gehry’s deep understanding of the property, its history and the context will elevate the project to the iconic and timeless status that it deserves,” said Townscape partner and project developer Tyler Siegel.

Why Do Bad Guys Always Get The Best Houses?

The Sheats Goldstein Residence by . Image © Jeff Green

In this interesting article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote dissects two Hollywood homes that are infamous as the homes of slick movie bad guys. The Lovell Health House designed by Richard Neutra appeared in LA Confidential as the home of pornographer and pimp Pierce Patchett; the Sheats Goldstein Residence appeared in The Big Lebowski – again as the home of a pornographer – and was designed by none other than “Hollywood’s favourite architectJohn Lautner. Heathcote probes the two architects’ design influences and ideas, and of course offers an explanation as to why “”bad guys always seem to get the best houses“. You can read the full article here.

A Look at Hollywood’s Love Affair with John Lautner

You have to admit it, Hollywood really seems to have a thing for ; his designs are continuously cropping up in tv-shows, films, cartoons, music videos and even video games. The occasional despondent college professor aside, his exuberant mansions are usually typecast as the bachelor-pads of various flamboyant psycho-paths, pornographers or drug-smugglers. Curbed have compiled this excellent video of the various Lautner-featuring scenes, so we thought that we’d take a closer look at some of his buildings, which tend to pop up in all manner of unexpected places.

Read more about Hollywood’s love affair with Lautner after the break…

LA’s Millennium Hollywood Project

Millennium Project via Millennium Partners

Millennium Partners and Argent Ventures are moving forward with their plan to transform 4.47 acres of vacant parking lots surrounding Hollywood’s iconic, mid-century Capitol Records Building into a transit-oriented, mixed-use development. Located on the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the Millennium Hollywood Project will feature two residential buildings reaching heights up to 585 feet, designed by , that are grounded by a High Line-inspired public space by James Corner Field Operations.

With the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) currently on public review, the New York-based developers are hoping to get city approvals underway in early 2013.

Continue reading to learn more…

Habitat 15 / Predock Frane Architects

Courtesy of Predock Frane Architects

Architect: Predock Frane Architects
Location: , , USA
Project Area: 39,000 sqf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of Predock Frane and Elon Schoenholz

Laws Behind LA’s Flat Skyscrapers

© Wikimedia Commons / Pintaric

Ever wonder why the skyline of is peppered with flat top ? Or for that matter, why does such a global cosmopolitan city have so relatively few dotting its cityscape, the majority residing in downtown LA?

The answer lies in a section of the Los Angeles Municipal Code introduced in 1974 – Sec. 57.118.12 – “Emergency Helicopter Landing Facility.” The code stipulates that “Each building shall have a rooftop emergency helicopter landing facility in a location approved by the [Fire] Chief.” The text also dictates that the helipads measure 50′x50′ in addition to a 25′ safety buffer. The resulting skyline thus far has been dominated by flat roof skyscrapers that would only make it through the planning process if in strict accordance with this code. However, a newly introduced proposal called the Hollywood Community Plan would allow skyscrapers to be constructed along the subway served “Hollywood Corridor.”  In lieu of embarking on a plan that would surely result in more box type towers, an amendment has been introduced into the plan that would exempt skyscrapers within the corridor from having to conform to Sec. 57.118.12 helipad requirements. More After the break.

Stay Down Champion, Stay Down / SPORTS

© Justin Harris

The design collaborative, SPORTS, has sent us their most recent project, a gallery installation in , California. A description of the project and additional images are after the break.

Hollywood and Vine Metro Portal and Plaza / Rios Clementi Hale Studios

© Tom Bonner

Set just east of the iconic intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the Metro Portal and Plaza situates itself on a highly trafficked block on one of the world’s most famous stretches of urban streetscape.

Rios Clementi Hale Studios was commissioned to create a covered entryway for an existing Metro subway stop, and an engaging plaza surrounding it.  Bordered on three sides by a multi-use project, the entry canopy and adjacent common areas artfully merge into the ground plane of Hollywood Boulevard, serving as a pedestrian threshold and grand “front door” for the elegant W Hollywood Hotel and W Residences—which rise up just behind—and a gracious arrival point for Metro Red Line riders.  After the break you will find more photographs and detail text about the Metro Portal and Plaza.

Architects: Rios Clementi Hale Studios
Location: Hollywood, California,
Design Team: Frank Clementi, AIA, AIGA, Mark Rios, FAIA, FASLA, Samantha Harris, ASLA, LEED AP, Jon Black, Tanya Patsaouras, Therese Kelly, Claudia Morello
W Hotel Architect/Executive Portal and Plaza Architect: HKS
Developer: Gatehouse Capital; HEI Hospitality Fund
Contractor: Webcor
W Hotel and Station Hollywood Interior Design: Design Studio Ltd.
Signage: Sussman/Prejza
Lighting: Kaplan Gehring McCarroll Architectural Lighting
Client: Gatehouse Capital; Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority
Project Area: 14,800 sqf (including W Station Hollywood lounge)
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Tom Bonner

Hollywood un-der-lined

Last week we told you about Christian Bay–Jørgensen’s idea to turn the famous Sign into an hotel. Today, we feature another idea designed by Danish and Belgian architects Bart de Lege, Frederique Hermans, Jan Bloemen, Joep Verheijen, and Steven van Esser. You can find more information here.

More images and architect’s description after the break.