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Frank Gehry revises plans for long-delayed Grand Avenue complex in downtown LA

United States - Feb 2, 2018 - 03:46   2466 views

Frank Gehry has unveiled the revised version of plans for his long-delayed project The Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, which is set to begin construction this fall and complete in 2021. 

Gehry's multi-towered complex, consisting of condominiums, restaurants, shops, a movie theatre and an open-air complex of apartments, will be built across the street from Downtown’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, according to the Los Angeles Times

Developed by Related Companies, Gehry's plans have undergone many changes since they were first announced 2006. When they first announced, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina and the Grand Avenue Authority rejected plans by ”severely criticizing and temporarily rejecting the plans for a retail complex crowned by hotel, apartment and condo towers.” They criticized the scheme "as uninspired and overly commercial." 

Indeed, the developer company signed a contract to build the project in 2004 but repeatedly postponed work on the key parcel, situated across the street from the Walt Disney Concert hall on Grand at 1st Street because of emerging recessions and doubts about its viability slowed progress, according to the LA Times. 

Presented with a new design scheme now, the mixed-use development sits on 3-acre (1,2 hectare) plot, a site recently occupied now by a parking structure.

The plans are built on a rather unusual design principle of Gehry, as the development is comprised of a series of irregularly-shifted towers, which seems a bit far away from a new form of complexity. 

Reaching at different heights, the Grand Avenue will include a 39-story tower with 113 condos and 323 apartments. The project will also include one of the first hotels by a fitness brand Equinox - it will occupy smaller tower on the plot and consist of 314 rooms, reaching 20 storeys. 20% of the apartment will be designed for low-income tenants, who will pay subsidised rents, reports LA Times. 

"You'll see a lightness in the building," Gehry said. "That's in the way we are relating to Disney hall. We are not building heavy stuff," said to  the LA Times Frank Gehry.

After completed, the development will be blended with live projections of the Walt Disney Concert Hall through its materials, colours and shapes and it is conceived that this will make the new project more liveable. 

"The new complex is "not antithetical" to the distinctive hall or "in your face," said Gehry. According to the article of LA Times, that's why Gehry is carefully working on the new project's surfaces to receive light projections from across the street. 

When the Los Angeles Philharmonic is performing inside, the live concert will be able to be shown on multiple walls of Disney Hall to entertain people outside and in the Grand.

"You close that piece of Grand Avenue, put some chairs out there and you’ve got something special. We’re not just building buildings, we’re building places," Gehry told the LA Times.

Planned as a multi-parcel project, the Grand Avenue will be constructed in phases. The Emerson apartments and Grand Park are the completed pieces of the project until now.

The missing part of the development is a parking located at 120 South Olive Street, plan for that site have not yet been announced. 

Related Companies, having partnered with CCCG Overseas Real Estate (CORE) last year, has invested $290 million for the Grand Avenue project. The Grand Avenue will be CORE's first project in the United States.

All images © Gehry Partners, LLP / Related Cos.

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