Friday, July 19, 2013

A Look at the Open Space in the Millennium Hollywood Project

Image from Handel Architects

The recent approval of the Millenium Hollywood project, which will put 39 and 35 story high rise buildings on the surface parking lots adjacent to the Capitol Records Tower, has understandably stirred many emotions.  Neighbors have raised hell over the potential affects on traffic.  NIMBYs in the hills have complained that they may lose their view of the 1956 Welton Becket masterpiece.

Personally, I do not think it's the city's responsibility to preserve the views from mansions in the Hollywood Hills.  As if Los Angeles should freeze itself in time so people who have deliberately isolated themselves from the urban facric of the city don't have to bear witness to change.  LA is on the cusp of a bright new era where we finally accept our identity as one of the world's largest and most cosmopolitan cities.  Where transit isn't "just for poor people," and density based around transit is accepted.

I admittedly had concerns of my own about the Millenium Hollywood project.  While I'd never consider myself a NIMBY, I was happy to see the LA City Council make the wise compromise of shortening the development from 55 and 45 floors to 39 and 35.  The height fits in so much better within the context of the surrounding buildings that I wonder if this is what Millenium Partners wanted all along.

With that in mind, the developers did seek to ensure that views of the iconic Capitol Records Building were preserved from the most important perspective: street level.  They've crafted the open space of this development to emphasize at all times that the visual centerpiece is the Capitol Records Building.

Interactive Music Plaza, Nat King Cole Plaza, Beatles Garden, Sinatra Lounge...all names giving clear deference to the music history born within the studios of the office building right next door.  Plenty of ground level retail all around..

A closer look focusing on the open space.  The bike rental station is a very underrated component of this project.

A bird's eye view of the Nat King Cole Plaza, adjacent to the existing mural of Cole and other black recording artists.  Palm trees don't provide much in the way of shade on a sunny day, but it wouldn't be "Hollywood," without them.

Another bird's eye view of the Nat King Cole Plaza, but without the tower cropped out.  While the architecture is yet to be finalized, the building is appropriately set back from the street to avoid overwhelming pedestrians.  Hiding behind the Capitol Records Tower is a massing for 6230 Yucca, a proposed 16 story residential building which has been stalled for several years.

A ground level view of the second tower across Vine St. from the Nat King Cole Plaza.  The palm trees have been replaced in this rendering.  Seems like a nice place to people watch and take in the surrounding architecture.
View looking west across Vine at the second tower.  Loving the extra wide continental crosswalks.
Looking north on Vine St towards the Capitol Records Building.
Birds eye view looking south down Vine.  Wonderful eye candy, and a nice view of some classic historic buildings at the Hollywood Blvd/Vine Street intersection.

And of course, one of the more exciting elements of the project: the rooftop observation deck.  The Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory are clearly visible (your experience may vary).

For the sake of contrast, here's the daytime view.

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