Location: Los Angeles, CA Year Designed: 2006 Status: On the Boards
Conceived in homage to Mies van der Rohe's crystalline high-rise concepts of the 1920's, the 1111 Wilshire project will feature prominently in the Los Angeles skyline once complete. The massing of the tower was designed to maximize views and reduce the appearance of bulkiness. A conventional rectangular floor plate was broken in two and slightly shifted to increase the number of true corner units and create a narrow profile while keeping the core and circulation to a minimum.
A channel glass lined podium supports a boutique hotel on the lower floors and open, light-filled residential units above. Several outdoor roof decks are located at various points in the building that provide the residents with breath-taking views all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
Location: Malibu, CA Year Designed: 2002 Area: 4,000 sqft. Status: Completed (2003)
The Levine Residence is located on Malibu Road, a meandering street of closely spaced homes with side-yard setbacks typically set at 4 feet. Both the city of Malibu and the Coastal Commission limit the buildable envelope and seaward development in a complex non-related set of zoning ordinances. This results in a difficult balance of creating privacy while opening up views of the ocean. The site drops off steeply between the road and the sand. The wave up-rush comes to a point that is almost to the landward side of the site, requiring sea walls just a few feet from the street and enabling waves to rush under the house during surges.
The solution was to have the house with a frame of steel and curtain wall infill sit on a grid of concrete beams over concrete caissons drilled 30-40 feet into the bedrock below the beach. The corrosiveness of salt air at the ocean limits the number of materials one can use because of deterioration. Our design utilized concrete, steel, Argeton tile, and KalWall for their durability, corrosive resistance and environmental stability. In addition, the steel was treated with a special paint used on oil rigs to resist rust.
Location: McMinnville, OR Year Designed: 2004 Area: 3,400 sqft. Status: Completed
The Roberts Residence program calls for a lifestyle of vertical relationships interacting with seamless flow and movement. Conceived as three vertical towers, this + 2500 s.f. house is carved into the gently sloped but heavily forested site. The structure elevates in order to take of advantage of the stunning beauty of the lush green valley framed by Mounts Jefferson and Hood. Philosophically the house orients to the east as a “lantern of light” capturing the primary views during the day and functioning as a beacon at night. Organizationally, the garage level is used to separate the office functions at ground level from the domestic spaces above. Strategically located glazing and low-key, minimalist details reinforce the role of natural light in creating a feeling of openness. Durable, low-maintenance materials provide a sense of permanence for the towers whose upper portions float in the treetops and grow more light and airy as they rise. Because the exterior form is comprised a simple rectilinear volumes, the façade surfaces rely on projecting elements and extensions to respond to natural forces (sun exposure, cross ventilation, rainfall, winds, etc.) At ground level, clean, natural site materials complement the carved effect of the rising tower.
Location: Los Angeles, CA Year Designed: 2008 & 2013 redesign Area: 120,000 sqft. Units: 96 Live/Work Units Status: Completed (2014)
The former Metropolitan Water District (MWD) 8-story office tower, designed by acclaimed architect William Pereira and completed in 1973, has been vacant for almost 20 years after MWD departure in 1993. The tower has been restored and converted to 96 residential units, 13 of which are new 2-story penthouses added to the top of the building. The original mid-century office design was adapted and enhanced to create comfortable contemporary loft-like apartments. Stripping the building of some of its dated materials, it has been upgraded with contemporary features while maintaining the original modern architecture.
Set amidst a neighborhood of low-rise buildings, the Elysian affords its residents unobstructed 360-degree views of the entire city from the mountains and downtown Los Angeles to the ocean. The new units are simple clean and modern, each with an open plan allowing and 12' ceilings with 10' of windows and their own private balcony. A new restaurant and outdoor seating area were integrated to the pedestrian level together with the new landscaping and restored fountains, helping to revive an underserved stretch of Sunset Blvd and the neighborhood as a whole.
Location: West Hollywood, CA Year Designed: 1988 Area: 117,700 sqft. Status: Completed (1990)
In a state of decay, the once proud Sunset Towers stood as a landmark that remembered the glorious past of the Sunset Strip. Leland Bryant’s masterwork was restored and adapted with the insertion of luxury suites and the addition of an adjacent restaurant and seven story parking structure. After a painstaking political and construction process, the new St. James’s Club project emerged as a new marker reflecting the ‘modern’ amenities of life in the last decades of the 20th century. The design solution attempted to translate the strong art deco spirit of Bryant’s original apartment project into creative responses that would address the conveniences expected in modern luxury hotels. The adjacent restaurant addition derived clues from the art deco tower and applied a low scale solution in order to respect the magnitude of the original as a historical structure.
Location: West Hollywood, CA Year Designed: 1994 Area: 7,900 sqft. Status: Completed (1996)
This residential 'retreat' rests on a very narrow promontory with spectacular panoramic views of the Los Angeles basin. The design revolved around three distinct programmatic requirements: 1.) generate a sanctuary-house that addressed the client's desires for privacy, rest and repose; 2.) that the house could also serve as an entertainment venue that would accommodate catered events set within a backdrop of the client's extensive art collection and the magnificent views of LA at night, and 3.) to incorporate a home-office that would service the needs of an international business leader always on the move.
The architectural response was to create a modern acropolis; a series of interconnected buildings each serving a unique purpose, linked by a large central art gallery that would be the hub of the house when the client entertained large numbers of guests at a time.
Location: Pacific Palisades, CA Year Designed: 2003 Area: 3,400 sqft. Status: Completed
This house represents a wonderful prototype for "sensitive and neighborly" residential development on descending hillsides. The proposed project incorporates: 1) A low to the ground building envelope and split level design. 2 )A very modest scale. 3) A low-profile roof to maintain views over the top and through the site. 4) Radiant floors for heating and natural cross ventilation for cooling. 5) An outdoor sunken, private, internal court which decreases noise but affords privacy during outdoor activity and allows the existing hillside and vegetation in the rear to remain in its natural canyon state.
Great Republic Lofts
Location: Los Angeles, CA Year Designed: 2006 Area: 76,000 sf 72 units Status: Complete
Constructed in 1927, the Great Republic Life Insurance Building was one of the first modern building to be built in Flatiron Park (the area near the intersection of Spring, Main, and Ninths Streets) located at the southern end of the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles. It was constructed as high-end office space during the building boom Downtown Los Angeles experienced in the 1920’s. The construction of the Great Republic Building extended the Financial Core of Pre-World War II Los Angeles southward along Spring Street. For decades, the building housed the offices of numerous financial institutions.
The building’s unique lot fronts on major streets (Spring, Main, and 8th) on three sides and an open on-grade parking lot on the fourth. This allows for open views in all directions from every floor. The high-rises on Bunker Hill offer a stunning panorama TO THE North while an expansive view of the Los Angeles Basin open up to the South. The design approach by David Lawrence Gray Architects was to preserve and restore the historic elements of the building (namely the facades and lobby) while differentiating new construction by making the interiors of the live/work units distinctly modern.