5411 Wilshire

371 Unit Apartment Building and renovation of adjacent historic building

Los Angeles has no greater boulevard than Wilshire. Beginning in downtown and ending at the beach, it the primary address of downtown Los Angeles, Korea town, Hancock Park, the Miracle mile, Park Mile, Westwood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. Beyond the history of the automobile promenade, the new subway line will provide an entirely new access to all of these points as well as the Federal Building, the Hammer Museum, Westwood Village, Rodeo Drive, MPAA, the Petersen Automobile museum, LACMA, the Tar Pits, Westlake, and all of downtown where the purple line will link to the rest of the growing MTA network throughout the city. The linear character of this single boulevard’s role within the city is simply the central spine of the city. As such the new tower at 5411 Wilshire seeks to re-define urban living beyond simply an apartment tower, but a central place of graceful living fully connected to the entire city, with respect to the historic past as well as the focal point for the future of Los Angeles urban lifestyle. Only steps away from the  expanded Purple line La Brea station to be completed in late 2023, this site will capture the potential of this Miracle Mile location like few others could.

With full acknowledgement of the history of the Talmadge, the Gaylord, the Bryson and others, this new tower will be focused on the grace of urban living. The design seeks to move beyond the expediency of recent high rise residential development and define a market of value, as did the historic apartment towers of the earlier period. Room sizes, design and finishes in the public area, a set of amenities unrivaled in the city, and dedication to personalized management, will create the character of this tower residence.

Located at the center of the Art Deco District of Los Angeles and incorporating the existing 5401 Wilshire historic Sontag Drug Store building into the project, the character of the architecture seeks to create street level continuity. The parking podium and the apartment tower above, also associate with the fluidity of the nearby art deco buildings and will incorporate associative details and materials as part of the new design. The curvilinear nature of the tower is also an aspect of the podium screen, and the paving of the entire block is derived from Art Deco designs. The tower window system takes form from the patterns of art deco decoration as do the frit patterns on the shading element at each window. The 5401 Wilshire building will be returned to its original design including signage, materials, windows and awnings. Its retail use will include both a table cloth restaurant and a café as well as some convenience retail along Cloverdale Avenue.

The parking systems are reached by cross site ramps at the north of the site.   The Cloverdale driveway leads  future residents and tenants down to the automated parking system while  the Cochran driveway ramp leads retail customers up to two  levels of conventional parking . The automated system is  a similar system that has been recently built at the nearby Helms Bakery in Culver City by the same owner. As more and more cars are projected to be powered by electricity in the near future, the system will be able to charge resident’scars at all times. The conveyor system can also accommodate personal storage units as well as bicycles.

Obviously, the building typology, itself, provides for a view, so this tower is shaped in a way that affords this amenity to each unit in a conscious way. The graceful curvilinear character of the 42 story building affords the vista of the city, the mountains and the open sky above the ocean. Each unit seeks to maximize views through both the building form as well as the linear amount of glass in each window.

While the location may be unique in the city, and the tower architecture is timeless and unique, it may be that the quality of the shared amenities adds a standard of value that is the most distinct. Lifted 6 levels above the street, the concept of the shared space is associated with the best of urban parks created with extensive planting and limited hard surfaces, sunlight and overlaying textures of green planting, trees, ground cover and flowers. In addition to the park setting is a full gym, two pools and exercise facility overlooking the park from its raised position at the north. Immediately below this is a bowling alley, a VR room, a golf simulator and a yoga studio. Within the enclosed area under the tower are two levels of useful spaces for the tenants including living rooms with associated exterior patios that afford individual privacy from the pool and barbecue areas. There is also a communal dog exercise area that is a park unto it self and a perimeter walking trail that overlooks the city.

In that views are the primary reason for living in a tall building, the exterior wall design provides a full, thin frame around each view window, unimpeded by additional frames of operating windows. Each glazing unit is overlapped against the next which provides for the ability for a flat section of glass to follow the curved form of the building as well as to provide a place for a screened vent that will allow natural ventilation to each room. In addition, each section of glass is canted to shade the adjacent piece at the top to reduce solar load.

This unique exterior will be the first in Los Angeles to provide a fully breathable wall, and as such will sparkle in its detail and reflectance.

Each of these elements of the design will, when added together, will create a most unique building and the utmost of high rise residential living.