British Minimalist Designer John Pawson Collaborates with Ian Schrager on Sunset Blvd. Hotel

A rendition of Marriott's Edition Hotel on Sunset Boulevard as seen from Harratt Street.
A rendition of Marriott’s Edition Hotel on Sunset Boulevard as seen from Harratt Street.

Ian Schrager, who pioneered the “boutique hotel” concept with such famous examples such as the Delano in Miami and the Morgans, Paramount and Royalton hotels in New York, and John Pawson, the British minimalist designer, have collaborated on the design of the new Marriott Edition hotel planned for the southeast corner of Sunset Boulevard at Doheny on West Hollywood’s border with Beverly Hills.

The 190-room hotel will be the West Coast flagship of the Edition hotel concept, developed by Schrager, who also is known for partnering in the 1970s with Steve Rubell on New York City’s Studio 54, the nightclub of choice for the likes of Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli and Mick Jagger. The concept is to create the one-of-a-kind feel of a boutique hotel, as exemplified by its unique food and entertainment offerings, among other things, in a chain hotel. It will also include 20 condominiums, a restaurant and spa.

Marriott currently has Edition hotels in Istanbul and London. A Miami hotel is scheduled to open next month. Others are planned for New York City and Sanya, China in 2015; Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Shanghai and Gurgaon, India in 2016, and West Hollywood, Paris, New York City and Wuhan, China, in 2017. Marriott closed on the purchase of the 1.37-acre West Hollywood site in January 2013.

Pawson, who left architecture school without completing his degree, nevertheless has been recognized as one of the world’s leading minimalist designers. His work has ranged from Calvin Klein stores to the Abbey of Our Lady of Nový Dvůr in Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Other work includes churches in Venice and Augsburg, Germany, a cafe in Okinawa and homes for author Bruce Chatwin and Schrager, among others. Pawson also worked with Schrager on the Miami Edition hotel.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the West Hollywood Edition is its exterior facing Harratt Street. As the building increases in height, its floors seem to step away from the residential neighborhood behind it. Each is heavily laden with trees or  plants. In addition to restaurants, the West Hollywood property also will have a night club and a rooftop pool and bar. The building that comprises the front of the hotel rises to 13 stories facing Sunset Boulevard and the building that is its rear rises nine stories above two stories of parking decks.

The design will be reviewed on Thursday by the city Planning Commission’s Design Review Subcommittee.  Marriott is seeking permission to expand the commercial space by 10,000 square feet to a total of 31,291 square feet, to add a 5,000 square foot roof deck bar and to add a 5,000 square foot nightclub. The subcommittee will meet at 5:30 p.m. at the Plummer Park Community Center at 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. at Martel.

West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, once known primarily as the home of rock music, increasingly is being seen as a locale for hotels and other commercial properties.  BusinessWeek, in an article published in August, said the sounds that The Strip is known for no longer are associated with music but with old buildings being demolished and replaced by new ones such as the Sunset La Cienega mixed use development at Sunset and La Cienega boulevards and the Marriott Edition project.

A rendition of Sunset facade of Marriott's Edition hotel at Sunset Boulevard and Doheny.
A rendition of Sunset facade of Marriott’s Edition hotel at Sunset Boulevard and Doheny.

  1. The design is beautiful but if I were living near Harriet I would be furious. The amount of noise coming off the building ( restaurant and club ) will echo down the hill. The city planners don’t care about the traffic impact, at an already congested intersection. And the fact that this project will take years to develop with traffic already impacted by the Sunset/lacienega project under construction. The city wants the tax revenue from these projects and don’t care about the ultimate impact on the residence of this area.

  2. I’m curious why the West Hollywood Preservationist Alliance isn’t pushing to save the Scandia restaurant on this corner? 1947, modern building with real history of Monroe and Sinatra regularly visiting. Or the building to the east of it in the same style as the other Sunset Plaza buildings. Why no uproar over this…but all hell breaks loose on the vet down on SM Blvd?

  3. Fakey – I agree. But if we don’t have it, the City Council should vote a decent living minumum wage for all hotel workers.

  4. Like it, but should definitely be conditioned on using only recycled water for those plants.

    And I don’t think the political views of the Marriott owners, whatever they are, could be used as a basis for any decision without the city getting sued for a ton of money for violating the First Amendment. You simply can’t deny permits because of political disagreements. What they probably could do, though, is make sure that the local antidiscrimination law is so airtight that they can’t let their political views influence the business.

  5. Deb & Lester – if Marriott has changed, great. There were big issues around the time of Prop 8 about contributions made to the pro effort. They do remain rigorously anti-union, which is another reason to be down on them.

    As for the daytime traffic – again, an issue. They did attempt to limit parking for a couple blocks on Hammond below the 9000 bldg. Tough to extend that because of the daytime use of spaces by parents dropping off and picking up kids (I guess they could impose a time limit). But that will be another concern (mitigated if the hotel is required to provide on-site parking for employees). Good point.

  6. @Chris, I agree that traffic is going to be an issue. Moreover, since the neighborhood parking is only restricted from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM what is the parking going to be like during the day? Already, workers in the 9000 Sunset Bldg park on Harratt during the week. If the hotel that is planned for Sunset between Hammond and Hilldale gets built then traffic in the ‘hood will be a lot worse. Every time a massive traffic jam happens on Sunset or SMB drivers use this area to take short-cuts. Cynthia, which is half-way between SMB and Sunset is bumper-to-bumper along with Hilldale that runs north-south. I am curious as to what is going to happen to the 1920’s house that sits right next to the parking lot at the end of Harratt Street on the north side. It’s been vacant along with the duplex just east of it for years.

  7. Thank God I have a day job. I live just 2 houses east of the lot on Harratt St. and the noise and traffic hassle is not gonna be fun. Already the traffic on my street is a pain on the weekends even with the restricted parking. Such a pity because this is normally a quiet street since it dead-ends at the west end before Doheny. And what about the proposed hotel on Sunset between Hammond & Hilldale? How many hotels does West Hollywood need?

  8. Interesting design.

    Two issues

    First not design related. This is the very anti-union Mormon owned Marriott chain. Not progressive, not gay friendly.

    Second is guest parking access. If they are directing to Harrad, what is going to happen to nighttime traffic? Hammond is blocked between Harrad and Sunset between 7pm-7am. And the next street south, Phylllis, is one way (heading east). Hotel traffic from the west entirely and from the east partially is going to be very complicated.

  9. If they developed a system to irrigate the landscape with grey water from the hotel guests, there really shouldn’t be any impact in regards to the amount of water that would be used anyway. Hopefully they will take that into consideration.

  10. This is one of the better designs I’ve seen presented for this location. It’s nice to know that West Hollywood is finally attracting world-class design rather than cookie-cutter crap (The Dylan, The Huxley, Movietown Plaza, etc.).

    As @SaveWeho says, I like the way it’s stepped back from the residential neighborhood to the south and the planned green belts of trees should be viable and not suck down excessive amounts of water once they take root. I’d be interested to hear how the wall and terrace plantings will be irrigated. It’s possible that the “green screen” so lushly shown on the rendering will also be relatively viable, even in a drought situation, but I’m sure that will come out during the approval process.

    The rooftop deck and nightclub may be more problematic. Other Sunset Strip hotels have had battles with the abutting residential neighborhoods over excessive noise late at night. If they ask for amplified music or live entertainment, I hope it’s not permitted or at the very least put indoors.

  11. Just in time for our water shortage and what promises to be a lengthy drought, a million plants to maintain!

  12. One thing I appreciate is innovation and thought. I think it’s great they are taking into account the residential area behind this parcel of land and adding to the already dense area of trees that exist there. I applaud the smaller scale of the building. Personally, I believe the backside is far more interesting and appealing than the front. I’m not sure why the plant concept can’t be brought to the front. But that’s just my opinion. Kudos to this group. Its’ nice to see something different than the box designs from CIM, Cohen Bros and all the other “Weho developers”.

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