Architect Frank Gehry Reveals New Designs for 8150 Sunset Complex

Architect Frank Gehry’s latest version of the 8150 Sunset complex

Renowned architect Frank Gehry has unveiled new designs for the 8150 Sunset project, the controversial retail-residential complex that has survived all its legal challenges and appears ready to start construction soon.

Gehry’s new designs seem to appear like glass blocks stacked on to of one another. This replaces the previous whimsical version with buildings of different heights and styles.

“I was fascinated with the frameless glass aesthetic. With this technology, I wanted to make the buildings look like glass blocks,” Gehry said in a statement. “This is a building system that has not much been used in building residential towers. It seemed that we could make a crystalline sculpture out of the buildings so that when it all went together, it had a unity and simplicity about it.”

Frank Gehry’s latest design for the 8150 Sunset complex

Located on the southwest corner of Crescent Heights and Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, just a few feet over the West Hollywood border, the complex will provide 203 residential units and approximately 57,300 square feet of retail and restaurant space. That’s somewhat smaller than the previous design which had 229 residential units and 65,000 square feet of retail.

These revised designs show two towers of the same height rather than one taller tower surrounded by several shorter ones in the previous design. As agreed upon after negotiations with both Los Angeles city officials and West Hollywood city officials, the building’s maximum height is 178 feet.

With the change to two towers, Gehry is now creating a view corridor in the center of the complex. There is 164 feet between the two buildings. Additionally, the complex will now have greater setbacks from the WeHo neighbors to the south.

Developer Townscape Partners hired Gehry create a visually stunning complex which will serve as the eastern gateway to the Sunset Strip. Gehry is known for his fantastical designs; he’s the person who designed the Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

Earlier version of 8150 Sunset Blvd. project (Gehry Architects)

First proposed by Townscape in 2013, the Los Angeles City Council approved the project in fall 2016. However, it faced several legal challenges including one to preserve the mid-century modern style Lytton Bank building (now a Chase Bank), which the LA City Council had designated as historic. However, Townscape prevailed in those court cases.

Construction is set to begin sometime in 2021 and be completed in 2023. The 8150 Sunset complex will replace the strip mall and bank building currently on the site. The shopping center was constructed in 1961. Prior to that, the famed Garden of Allah residential hotel sat on the site.

8150 Sunset is the second project by Townscape Partners in the area, with their first project, the adaptive reuse of 8899 Beverly Blvd in West Hollywood, nearing completion.

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Vigilant
Vigilant
24 days ago

Dear Mr. Gehry, One wonders why you and your team would continue to tweak a design that was incongruous from the beginning. First a Disney Hall mutation, now something where it would be difficult to place in a proper context. The closest might be Costa Mesa/Newport in amongst a similar ilk which while not original would fit the context. A lack of understanding of the 8150 Sunset site seems to plague this project which the surrounding community will simply have to live with. The previously mentioned Sunset Tower and others of Leland Bryant and many significant architects have left their… Read more »

Leo
Leo
26 days ago

How to go from exciting to glass square blocks of bland.

Vigilant
Vigilant
1 month ago

One could wonder if Frank Gehry ever visited the location Which is one of the essential starting points for an architect. This project has calmed down but is now bland and still bulky. It would be lovely if Mr. Gehry would visit the Sunset Tower perhaps for lunch and consider its architecture, setting and consistent value as one of the key landmark structures on the Sunset Strip.

Michael S.
Michael S.
1 month ago

Can we have an update on the Dubai Mothership Hotel which has been threatening to land between the Viper Room and Aahs??

Audrey
Audrey
1 month ago

Frank Gehry was slated to build something for the company I worked for.. but in the long run it was too expensive and too modernistic for the location.

Jonathan Simmons
Jonathan Simmons
1 month ago
Reply to  Audrey

The Disney Concert hall was delayed for well over a decade, because Lillian Disney (Walt’s widow) could not understand how the plans Submitted by Gehrey could even be considered. It was a REVOLUTIONARY DESIGN that came out STUNNING to any and everyone who sees it for the first time. The very vague artist’s new rendering is not that detailed, but clearly not a design created by Gerhey .. He is at the top of his game & top of the worlds achitectutal masters, and sadly the Twilight of his life (guessing based on age). He would only make any new… Read more »

JF1
JF1
1 month ago

That corner will look so much better than it does now and bring new life. Build it.

Donald Bruce
Donald Bruce
1 month ago

Anything is better than the eyesore that is there now. Bring back the Garden of Allah and Pandora’s Box!

Terry L Bolo
Terry L Bolo
1 month ago

The bank blg was 1961, believe the strip mall was much later.

Alikhat
Alikhat
1 month ago

Um, well, that is a building complex, alright. It is also the most unGehry Gehry design I’ve ever seen. Utterly bland, stodgy and conservative; could have been designed by anyone. Could have been designed via algorithm. And I can’t wait for all that glass to start reflecting the harsh LA sunlight like a giant, heat-radiating beacon, blinding hapless drivers and nearby residents for years to come. I expect the owners will ignore those complaints just as completely as they ignored the pleas of the local historical society. Seems LA just can’t turn itself into a blandly generic, post modernist architectural… Read more »

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

“Visually stunning?” Did we just copy and paste from the press release?

Well, since it’s glass at least there might not be the issue with reflected sunlight frying the neighbor’s cat. Let’s just hope that it isn’t the sieve that the MIT building and the art Gallery of Ontario are..

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
1 month ago

I’m underwhelmed. These geriatric, white, male, heterosexual architects, like Gehry, Mayne and Moss, need to step aside, and let the younger generations build something. Between the scandals of Richard Meier (helping to kick off architecture’s own #metoo movement), and the protests from this year, haven’t we learned anything?

Rick Scott
Rick Scott
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

@WeHo Mary! – A bit racist, sexist, and ageist are we?

Rick Scott
Rick Scott
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

And, what do you mean “step aside”? Do you mean shut down their businesses because someone doesn’t like their design style? Otherwise, how would stepping aside be accomplished?

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
1 month ago
Reply to  Rick Scott

Simple solution, they should retire. It’s what wealthy seniors are supposed to do.

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
1 month ago

Hideous V.1, Hideous V.2. This architect is really good at hideous.

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