After reviewing proposals from a selection of other firms, Related Companies has chosen to move forward with Frank Gehry’s Grand Avenue vision for Los Angeles. The design, which abandons the fluid forms of Gehry’s original scheme, has been described by critic Christopher Hawthorne as “significantly more exuberant and suggestive of L.A. culture” than Gensler and Robert A.M. Stern Architects’ recently rejected proposal.
The long-awaited, $650-million retail, hotel and residential complex will aim to break ground in 2015 and complete by 2019. If approved, two “boxy” towers will form at the site’s edge to frame an interior shopping plaza. This, as Hawthorne pointed out, directly contrasts the layout of the neighboring Walt Disney Concert Hall whose notorious curves flare up at the site’s center.
Notably, Gehry’s design plans to keep the Concert Hall as the area’s prime focus. To do this, he has designed a generous break between the site’s two towers to frame a view of the iconic building for pedestrians walking down Olive Street.
Gehry plans to submit his design to the city this coming Monday. We will keep you updated as more details emerge, but in the meantime check out Hawthorne’s critique of the new proposal.