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First Look at Frank Gehry's Huge Project on the Sunset Strip

This morning developer Townscape Partners has released the first images of Frank Gehry's design for a huge mixed-use project on the eastern edge of the Sunset Strip and at the base of the Hollywood Hills, on the former site of paradise (the famous Garden of Allah estate-turned-hotel, which is sometimes rumored to have inspired Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi"; today it's a stripmall). Residents reacted poorly in 2013 to initial plans for the 8150 Sunset project, so Townscape brought in Gehry earlier this year to create "one of several design alternatives" for the site; they'll submit all of those plans in a new environmental review process starting next month. Gehry's design has five "interrelated and complementary structures" filled with apartments, condos, retail, and entertainment space, all linked by open public space.

Townscape wanted to keep the buildings along Sunset Boulevard low to blend in with their surroundings (and allow better views from the residential towers, supposedly)—Gehry's design has a three-story retail building along Sunset with "a marquee element" and wooden mullions "supporting a glass curtain wall." It would help pull people in toward 8150's interior plaza, "a centralized retail destination [with] an open-air public space that can also be used for specially programmed events." Its center will hold "a structure whose facade is made of stone cylinders and cones and which will house programmable space and retail."

The southern part of the site would have two residential buildings—11 stories on the eastern side along Crescent Heights and 15 stories on the western side, "specifically scaled to create a visual and architectural relationship with the Chateau Marmont." They'll hold a total of 249 units, a mix of apartments and condos.

The site would pull pedestrians into the plaza at the intersections of Sunset, Havenhurst Drive, and Crescent Heights, and terraces would step up to the buildings at the corners of the project on Sunset Boulevard. Parking will all be below grade.

Take a look: