New IAC Project to Add Greenery and Open Space to Sunset Blvd.

Design rendering of IAC building at 8800 Sunset Blvd. (Courtesy of IAC)
Design rendering of IAC building at 8800 Sunset Blvd. (Courtesy of IAC)
The non-descript IAC office building at 8800 Sunset Blvd. near Holloway is being draped with a six-story lattice that soon will be covered with native greenery.

IAC has announced that it has engaged Rios Clementi Hale Studios for the renovation, which will include space open to the public with seating and bike racks.

Work on the lattice already has begun, with some WEHOville readers assuming it was a temporary system of braces to reinforce the facade of the building, which sits across Sunset from a building bearing the IAC logo at 8833 Sunset. IAC expects to complete the project later this year.

“The IAC building at 8800 Sunset Boulevard is undergoing a stunning architectural transformation, which will breathe new life and function into the current structure,” said Christian Bryan, vice president, real estate and facilities, for the internet company, whose headquarters are in New York City. “We wanted our building to not just be another office space but to become a gathering destination. We are proud to offer the city of West Hollywood a green wall and a public space that will provide a breath of fresh air for pedestrians on the iconic Sunset Strip, and further build a sense of community.”

Indeed, the renovated building’s public plaza will be one of the few places on Sunset (the most prominent other being the Sunset building at 8590 Sunset) that offers a pedestrian-friendly space on a boulevard dominated by cars. The project will include a restaurant, owned by Alan Nathan, whose chef will be Dakota Weiss, formerly of Nine Thirty at the W Westwood.

The steel lattice will feature a living garden of Southern California hillside native plants selected by Paul Kephart of Rana Creek, a globally known expert in planted roofs. A sustainable built-in irrigation solution, using an existing underground river water flow that is being pumped and a digital monitoring system, will make sure the plants receive the appropriate amount of water.

“The lattice has the illusion of peeling off the building,” said project designer Sebastian Salvadó, a senior associate at Rios Clementi Hale Studios. “Employees will have views of the landscape below and the Hollywood Hills beyond.”

Vertical troughs ranging from 18 feet to 50 feet feet long are attached to a white brick façade at their highest point and protrude as much as 14 feet when they meet the second floor, creating a garden awning. On the west side of the structure, the three-dimensional planted grid flattens to become a green roof over what will be a new restaurant.

The lattice’s apertures allow light to stream through, while the lines of the lattice create shade down below. The resulting shadow patterns will be echoed in pre-cast concrete pavers that extend to the street edge, forming a public plaza. Large planters will bring the flora to street level. Custom-designed geometric-shaped benches made of steel plates will be installed.

The building will also be activated at night–a busy time in this area of restaurants and clubs. Rather than illuminate the face of the grid, Rios Clementi Hale Studios opted to light the lattice from behind, so illumination emanates through the plants. Likewise, in-ground lighting reflecting off the yellow interiors of the plaza seating will transform it into glowing lanterns.

“By day it’s a California hillside, and by night it acts as a big urban lamp to illuminate the plaza,” Salvadó said. The building will be branded with two IAC signs designed by Bruce Mau.

IAC owns more than 150 brands and products, including Ask.com, About.com, Match.com, HomeAdvisor and Vimeo. Its New York City headquarters, designed by Frank Gehry and completed in 2007, is recognized as one of that city’s most creative structures.

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Lynn
Lynn
5 years ago

aaajjj9: you could call Barry Diller or Alex von Furstenberg, it’s their $$$.

aaajjj9
5 years ago

So curious what this cost. I’ve been watching this project closely(being next door)…. cost for this over the past 18 months…???

John
John
6 years ago

IAC is getting a million dollar lesson the hard way – the fact that some “designer” can sketch an idea in a couple hours in no way means it can or should be built like the sketch. This building was a well built, attractive brick facade building, something rather unique to the area. Now, it is whitewashed. Whitewash is typically used on ugly concrete tilt up structures and other buildings that are hopelessly ugly. IAC is now making the statement that this is just an ugly building like all the other whitewashed buildings up and down the street, and it’s… Read more »

Lynn Russell
Lynn Russell
6 years ago
Reply to  John

@John: if you would like some factual information, perhaps you could call Mark Rios @ Rios Clemente Hale
to address your concerns.

erik
erik
6 years ago

Its downright ugly. What a terrible waste of money. they should have left it just the way it was. it was a good looking building. now the tours can stop in front of it say: “and now, the ugliest building on the strip, at one point it was beautiful, but like many hollywood celebrities they went a little too far with the cosmetic surgery”
It also reminds me of a rapper wearing a fake grill.

Jon
Jon
6 years ago

Nice addition, Great work IAC (a resident of Horn Avenue)!

greenguy
greenguy
6 years ago

@shawn – There is a public plaza at the base. It will be larger and more functional than the previous area.
@goodboy – The systems will likely be fully irrigated and able to maintain the plants. Drought tolerant plants like you find on the hillsides were chosen for the wall.

Gary Ban
6 years ago

It is sophomoric and hideous. And the white paint on the building has already made it radiate heat like hell toward neighboring buildings. The Planning Comission once again had its thumb up its…

goodboy
goodboy
6 years ago

Whatever they plant in the green spaces will not do well and requires a lot work to keep it alive so I’m sure they will get rid of that or put fake greenery in at some point. it was a good looking building why ruin it? its like a good looking person going in for a facelift and coming out looking like a freak.

shawnflannigan
shawnflannigan
6 years ago

is weho giving up some of the sidewalk and area in front? thats a pretty large concrete pad there— if so, i assume they have to pay the city monthly fees for that, right?

90069
90069
6 years ago

@Todd. Agreed, this is great to see a large employer continue to invest in West Hollywood. We desperately need more jobs, especially for white collar workers. The building’s makeover is beautiful. The bright white outline matches well with the London Hotel and the condo tower off La Cienega. The intricate living wall will be expensive to maintain but a fan-favorite of tourists no doubt to take snaps of as they ride by in tour buses.

Lynn
Lynn
6 years ago

Rios, Clemente Hale generally produces excellent work. This looks interesting and very promising.

Mike
Mike
6 years ago

I thought the building looked OK as it was. I’m skeptical about this re-muddle. Besides, I’m guessing the maintenance involved with the green bits won’t be easy. Too weird for my tastes and I’m pretty open-minded.