Renowned architects Kengo Kuma and Stanley Saitowitz to join SOM and James Corner Fi ld Operations in reimagining the 5.5-acre site

Los Angeles, CA (January 11, 2018) – The team behind 1111 Sunset Boulevard today unveiled conceptual plans to transform the long-dormant 5.5-acre site into a modern community hub on the edge of Downtown Los Angeles. Plans for the property—the last remaining large parcel to sit vacant within the Central City North community plan area—feature residential, retail and creative office space uses, along with public open space and a boutique hotel designed by Kengo Kuma.

The plan calls for 778 residential units, a mix of market-rate and affordable, to help meet the City’s goals for new housing near job centers. Designs show low-rise bungalow style residences with a similar scale and character to the surrounding residential neighborhood as well as two high-rise residential buildings raised above the landscape, allowing pedestrians at eye-level to enjoy views of the Downtown skyline. Additionally, the project incorporates more than two acres of open space designed by James Corner Field Operations, which include terraces, gardens, courtyards, water features, and an overlook with views of downtown.

“When the project at 1111 Sunset is completed it will be part of the broader mosaic of housing in CD1 and the City of Los Angeles. This project will ensure that everyone who desires to live in CD1 has a place to live,” said Councilman Gil Cedillo, who represents District 1.

The design plan activates street life on Sunset Boulevard and integrates with public transit and ride-sharing points along the Sunset Boulevard corridor leading into the Downtown area.

Neighborhood-serving retail along Sunset will be accessed via a new sloping walkway reminiscent of William Pereira’s plan for the former Metropolitan Water District campus that once occupied the site. New pedestrian access points along the perimeter of the site will also make it easy to access the open space amenities. By creating vibrant streets, the property will create more meaningful connections with surrounding communities.

“Our team was drawn to this property because of its strategic location on the edge of Downtown within a mile of dynamic neighborhoods like Bunker Hill, Echo Park and Chinatown,” said Brian Falls of Palisades. “Our conceptual plans embrace the site’s adjacency to these vibrant areas by enhancing the pedestrian experience, promoting public transit, and encouraging an abundance of community uses.”

Kuma, one of Japan’s foremost architects and architectural scholars, joins the architectural team that includes Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and James Corner Field Operations. Kuma complements the design team with his architectural philosophy, which focuses on the importance of light, materials, transparency, and a fundamental respect for a building’s surroundings and context. This will be Kuma’s first major project in Los Angeles. The firm’s other projects in the United States include the Portland Japanese Garden and the Dallas Rolex Tower. Construction has begun on Kuma’s design for the Tokyo 2020 National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

“Our firm is honored to join the design team tasked with unlocking the potential of this unique property,” said Kuma. “We are eager to draw inspiration from the site’s rich history and the surrounding neighborhoods to create a hotel that will not only showcase this world-class location but also contribute to the dynamic community that is Los Angeles.”

San Francisco-based Natoma Architects, led by Stanley Saitowitz, also joins the team. Natoma brings to the project an approach focused on architecture’s systemic relationship with the city. Saitowitz is a celebrated architect with significant experience designing mixed-use and multi-family residential projects including 8 Octavia in San Francisco.

The L.A.-based SOM team is led by Design Directors Paul Danna, FAIA, and José Luis Palacios, AIA, who have an extensive track record with ground-up development projects throughout Southern California. SOM is leading the overall design, with a focus on the residential, office and retail uses. The open space areas, landscape and other public spaces will be designed by a team led by James Corner, Founder and CEO of James Corner Field Operations, the landscape architecture firm behind the High Line in New York City. Los Angeles-based real estate firm Palisades and the architectural team look forward to working with the community as the plan continues to take shape throughout the public review process. The renderings unveiled today are part of an application package that kicks-off that process.

About Palisades

Based in Los Angeles, the firm brings local expertise, global perspective and a passion for craftsmanship to create built environments in collaboration with notable designers, trusted partners and an engaged community. The firm has a broad range of real estate experience spanning acquisitions, entitlements, design & development, construction, repositioning & redevelopment and asset management.

About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Since its founding more than 80 years ago, SOM has earned a reputation for design excellence with a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm's longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with nearly 2,000 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award-in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, and Mumbai.

About James Corner Field Operations

James Corner Field Operations is a leading-edge landscape architecture and urban design practice based in New York City. The practice is renowned for strong contemporary design across a variety of project types and scales, from large urban districts and complex post-industrial sites, to small well-crafted, detail design projects. In all of the work, there is a special commitment to the design of a vibrant and dynamic public realm, informed by the ecology of both people and nature. Major projects in our portfolio include the design of the High Line in New York City, Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square in Santa Monica, Chicago’s newly redesigned Navy Pier, and Cleveland’s Public Square.

About Kengo Kuma and Associates

Before establishing Kengo Kuma & Associates in 1990, Kengo Kuma received his Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Tokyo, where he is currently a Professor of Architecture. Having been inspired by Kenzo Tange’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium, built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Kengo Kuma decided to pursue architecture at a young age, and later entered the Architecture program at the University of Tokyo, where he studied under Hiroshi Hara and Yoshichika Uchida. After his time as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in New York, he established his office in Tokyo. Since then, Kengo Kuma & Associates has designed architectural works in over twenty countries and received prestigious awards, including the Architectural Institute of Japan Award, the Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award (Finland), and the International Stone Architecture Award (Italy), among others. Kengo Kuma & Associates aims to design architecture which naturally merges with its cultural and environmental surroundings, proposing gentle, human scaled buildings.

About Natoma Architects Inc.

Stanley Saitowitz / Natoma Architects Inc. is at the forefront of architectural design practices that are redefining relationships between architecture and the city. The firm’s projects are noted for clarity of vision, site integration, memorable form, resourceful building systems, and material innovation. Led by Stanley Saitowitz, the practice is committed to the design of projects which engage their context and community. Our San Francisco-based practice has worked in cities across the country, and is interested in crafting intimate, personal experiences, woven into the larger context of the city. The aim is to create spaces of personal quality in iconic and memorable buildings.