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Former Ambassador Hotel Site In Rendered Glory

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Construction continues on the site of the now demolished-Ambassador Hotel and the future home of three LAUSD schools. Yes, it was a bitter, horrible battle over developing this land. And whether the city even needs more schools remains uncertain. Regardless, these renderings show off the overall site--the whole block is bounded by Wilshire and 8th, and Mariposa and Catalina streets. While it's hard to see in the above rendering, a Robert F. Kennedy memorial will be situated near those trees facing Wilshire. It's described on the web site for architecture firm Gonzalez/Goodale this way: "This piece is located in a sunken park off of Wilshire at the very center of the site, consisting of a stainless steel entry piece and reflecting pond and a long granite wall with engraved quotations and text." Part II of Ambassador coverage to follow. [All images via Gonzalez/Goodale]

Architect's statement via the Gonzalez/Goodale web site:

The scope of the project includes a K-3 School, a 4-8 Middle School, and a High School, for a total of 4,624 students. The 92,000-square-foot K-3 building will accommodate 1,150 seats within 46 classrooms on three floors. The school will be located on the Ambassador Hotel site. The 4-8/High School building will accommodate 3,474 seats within 130 classrooms on six floors. The area is 382,000 square feet, and the rehabilitated Cocoanut Grove building is an additional 48,410 square feet of enclosed and covered areas. [Ed: Did we realize the Cocoanut Grove building was being rehabilitated?]

The scope of the project includes a K-3 School, a 4-8 Middle School, and a High School, for a total of 4,624 students. The 92,000-square-foot K-3 building will accommodate 1,150 seats within 46 classrooms on three floors. The school will be located on the Ambassador Hotel site. The 4-8/High School building will accommodate 3,474 seats within 130 classrooms on six floors. The area is 382,000 square feet, and the rehabilitated Cocoanut Grove building is an additional 48,410 square feet of enclosed and covered areas.

The proposed subterranean parking structure will accommodate a total of 442 parking spaces on two levels for faculty and administrative staff. Playfields for the proposed 4-8/HS will be constructed above the parking structure. The scope also includes construction of a gymnasium building. This structure will accommodate the gymnasium court for grades 6-8 and Central Plant equipment on the first floor, and a gymnasium court for grades 9-12 on the upper level. This is one of the first LAUSD schools with an extensive public art program. The public art pieces include:


1. A reflection on Robert F. Kennedy's contribution to social justice. This piece is located in a sunken park off of Wilshire at the very center of the site, consisting of a stainless steel entry piece and relecting pond and a long granite wall with engraved quotations and text.

2. A piece located at the entry to the school library (a re-construction of the Hotel's original Embassy Ballroom). This is a sequential piece consisting of video, photos, collage, and dioramas, interpreting the history of the site, the hotel, and the school design.

3. An audio / streaming radio piece associated with a number of park benches around the site.

4. A floor piece at the foot of the stepping amphitheater at the heart of the site. This colorful mandala-like shape will both invite additional chalk art from young students and serve as a permanent icon/marker for the center of the campus.