Starchitects, the architects so famous you actually know their names, have finally returned to the skies above Los Angeles in the past few years, with a post-recession clutch of projects from hotels to museums to megaprojects. Thom Mayne's Morphosis has just finished a triumph in Hollywood, hometown hero Frank Gehry is at work on major projects on both sides of town, Renzo Piano has returned to the Miracle Mile following his disappointing showing at LACMA, and big-deal Europeans Peter Zumthor and Rem Koolhaas are both just starting on their first projects in Southern California. Here we've mapped all the hottest starchitect heat, from the very recently completed to the twinkle in a developer's eye.Read More
Mapping All of Los Angeles's Freshest Starchitecture Projects
Guerin Pavilion/Herscher Hall (Moshe Safdie)
The Moshe-Safdie-designed Skirball Cultural Center finally got its last piece when this event space opened last fall.
Star Apartments (Michael Maltzan)
Local starchitect Michael Maltzan's Star Apartments is made of prefabricated modules installed on top of an existing building in Skid Row. It houses supportive housing, services for tenants, and retail.
Emerson College Los Angeles (Morphosis)
This beautiful outpost for Emerson College's semester-in-LA program—with state-of-the-art classrooms, event space, dorms, and offices—opened in March and is already enlivening a formerly-dead stretch in Hollywood.
One Santa Fe (Michael Maltzan)
Michael Maltzan's long, sinewy One Santa Fe, with apartments, a theater, and a grocery store, will probably put an end to any last notions that the Arts District is for up-and-coming artists.
The Broad (Diller Scofidio + Renfro)
After a long battle over location and a slightly shorter design contest, rich guy Eli Broad chose New Yorkers Diller Scofidio + Renfro to design his vanity museum on Bunker Hill (along with an adjacent plaza). Their "vault and the veil" design is expected to open sometime in 2015.
Gayley at Wilshire (Robert AM Stern)
One of the slow-movingest projects in town, Robert AM Stern's 29-story hotel was first proposed in 2009; the site was finally cleared for work in 2011. If it's ever finished, it'll be the rare new Westwood hotel.
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures (Renzo Piano)
Archicritics have not been super happy with Renzo Piano's plans to attach a great glass sphere to the back of the historic May Company Building, right next door to his lackluster BCAM at LACMA. Still, it seems like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is sticking with these designs and the museum is set to open in 2017.
Ocean Avenue Project (Frank Gehry)
Hometown hero Frank Gehry is back on the Westside after many years with this 22-story tower with a hotel, fancy condos, and an art museum. "More Gehry-ness!" says the Santa Monica Architecture Review Board.
Grand Avenue Project (Frank Gehry)
Frank Gehry was kicked off the enormous and ever-delayed Grand Avenue Project—which is supposed to add hotels, apartments, retail, and public space to the area around his Disney Hall—back in 2013, and the developers brought in Gensler and Robert AM Stern to create new designs. Officials positively hated those and now Gehry is back on the project with the best designs yet.
Plaza at Santa Monica (OMA)
Last fall, Santa Monica shockingly rejected plans from Rem Koolhaas's firm OMA for one of its most coveted development sites (and that was after selecting OMA in a competition). But they took the firm back late in the year and new alternative designs are set to be released any day now.
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows (Cesar Pelli)
We're still waiting on updated Cesar Pelli designs for the redevelopment of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in design hotspot Santa Monica. Plans call for a tall tower with the hotel, condos, and retail, but the hotel will have to fend off all NIMBY challengers before it can get to work.
LACMA (Peter Zumthor)
Peter Zumthor debuted early, splotchy plans to completely overhaul LACMA in an exhibition last year (it would include the demolition of most of the buildings on the campus); the tar-pit-ish design has gotten mixed reviews but is still far from finalized. It'll be a few years before we see any action at LACMA.
9900 Wilshire (Richard Meier)
Richard Meier's big plan for fancy condos and retail is probably the least likely starchitecture project in LA at this point; it's been kicking around since 2007 and, just when it looked like work was starting this year, the site was put up for sale again.