It's safe to say that Los Angeles will not be seeing the construction of a venue in the vein of the $2.3-billion Las Vegas Sphere anytime soon, with a 366-foot-tall profile and an LED exterior that lights up the night sky. But closer to home, West Hollywood's Sunset Strip is set to gets its own orb-shaped landmark - albeit at a much-reduced scale.
On November 9, the West Hollywood Planning Commission's Design Review Subcommittee and Sunset Arts & Advertising Subcommittee is scheduled to look at plans for "The Sphere on Sunset," a new project planned by property owner Sunset View Plaza, LLC at 8410 Sunset Boulevard. The project, which calls for the demolition of an existing cafe, newsstand, and video screens, calls for the construction of a new "broadcast venue," consisting of a 49-foot-diameter glass sphere hovering above a pedestrian plaza and a neighboring apartment complex to the south. The ground-level plaza would include an overlook adjacent to that apartment building, offering views of the Los Angeles basin.
The building interior will place its reception, green room, and preparation areas on its lower floors, with the upper level intended as a broadcast facility for podcasts and other productions. The upper level would feature a semi-enclosed roof terrace which would house a public viewing area.
The project, which is being designed by Saee Studio, is a first for the City of West Hollywood, which has considered numerous applications for new billboards and buildings along the Sunset Strip in recent years, but never a proposal which combined the two. Due to poor sight lines, the Sphere is described as a "destination" rather than a drive-by experience, with the expectation that the new plaza and interactive broadcast-themed elements will draw in visitors. Its relatively low profile also maintains views of existing digital signage on an immediate next-door neighbor: the Pendry Hotel & Residences.
A staff report, while receptive to the project as a whole has suggested several potential modifications and clarifications to the Sphere. These include a recommendation that the bottom of the building have greater than eight feet of clearance from the plaza below - preferably a minimum of at least 12 feet.
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- West Hollywood (Urbanize LA)