The Googie-style building, designed by the late architect Kurt Meyer, had stood near the intersection of Sunset and Crescent Heights Boulevards for more than 60 years. The two-story edifice, most recently home to a Chase Bank, was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2016, and was the subject of an unsuccessful preservation campaign waged by the Los Angeles Conservancy and the advocacy group Friends of Lytton Savings.
In its place, developer Townscape Partners plans to construct a pair of mid-rise buildings featuring 203 residential units, some of which would be set aside as workforce and affordable housing, atop 57,300 square feet of ground-floor retail space and basement parking.
Gehry's design for 8150 Sunset calls for the towers - standing roughly 178 feet in height - to be arranged around a large courtyard which would maintain view corridors and serve as a reference to a past occupant of the project site: the iconic Garden of Allah hotel. The village-like hotel, popular with celebrities, was demolished to make way for Lytton Savings in the late 1950s.
The current plan reflects conditions of approval imposed on the development in 2016. Originally, Townscape had proposed larger buildings up to 234 feet in height with as many as 229 apartments and 65,000 square feet of commercial space.
The revisions also include a largely glass exterior for the new buildings, doing away with the patchwork of materials proposed in the original concept.
“This is a building system that has not much been used in building residential towers," said Gehry in a 2020 news release. "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.”
Townscape, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, previously announced its intent to break ground on the 8150 Sunset development in 2021. Completion is anticipated by 2023.
The project is the firm's second large-scale mixed-use development, following the 8899 Beverly adaptive reuse project in West Hollywood.
- 8150 Sunset (Urbanize LA)