West Hollywood Scores Award from American Institute of Architects for Belltower Project

While it has drawn criticism from nearby residents, the proposed West Hollywood Belltower on Sunset Boulevard has won the praise of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

AIA | LA presented its top-level “Next LA Award of Honor “ to the City of West Hollywood at its 2017 Design Awards on Oct. 30. The project is a collaboration of West Hollywood; Orange Barrel Media; Tom Wiscombe Architecture; MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles), and Walter P. Moore.

Proposed ‘Belltower’ digital billboard on Sunset Boulevard (Orange Barrel Media / Tom Wiscombe Architects)

The Belltower will be installed at 8775 Sunset Blvd. as a limited-term pilot project. It will feature a new creative structure designed by Wiscombe Architects, a small public plaza with new landscaping elements, two digitally programmable billboard faces that will include arts programming and a new, open-air arts location for established and emerging artists to create public art installations on the Sunset Strip.

The AIA | LA award is the latest of several received by the city. On Sept. 24, the American Planning Association, California Chapter presented two awards of merit at its california conference to the City of West Hollywood:

One, the “Implementation Award, Small Jurisdiction,” went to the city for its inclusionary housing program, which requires a 20% set-aside of affordable units in all multi-unit housing or an in-lieu fee, and which has realized a substantial number of affordable housing units equitably distributed in new projects throughout the city. The other is the “Communications Initiative Award” for the city’s Communications and Community Engagement Strategic Plan, which is a comprehensive toolkit that provides urban planners, staff members and others at West Hollywood City Hall a roadmap to increase effectiveness in communicating with the public and engaging with the community.

The City of West Hollywood also received two recognitions highlighting its sustainability initiatives:

—The Institute for Local Government awarded the city its “Silver Level Beacon Spotlight Award” for Sustainability Best Practices. The Beacon program, sponsored by the Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, honors voluntary efforts by local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, and adopt policies that promote sustainability

—The U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative recognized the City of West Hollywood with a “SolSmart Gold” designation for its Go Solar West Hollywood program in partnership with EnergySage, which provides information and resources to property owners to implement solar systems.