The new Second Home in Hollywood, holLA, is a collection of several recipes and ingredients of a California Cocktail. Spaces for activities and offices that become a "second home", surrounded by vegetation, where you can work in peace and harmony. This building has a classical Neocolonialism Los Angeles look and is used as a core and main entrance for the whole Campus. In this existing building 320 roaming places are located in the ground floor and additional offices with 200 workspaces are in the first floor, with common facilities such as café, bar, restaurant, events and conference hall, resting areas and open terraces, all around the building. The other one is demolished and, on top of the existing underground parking, a 60 new oval-shaped individual offices and meeting rooms are placed surrounded by a garden that will be the Second Home for almost 700 people.
HolLA lays in East Hollywood on a 8,436 sq. m site with two existing buildings, of which we have to maintain one with two floors, designed in 1964 by Paul Williams, the first recognized African-American architect working in Los Angeles.
Four different oval shapes create the 60 bungalow offices of four different sizes, that are scattered around the garden built with 1.2 m of soil on top of the parking slab, burying the bungalows down to the table height. The transparent curved walls allow 360º horizontal views of the plants, giving the feeling to be working among nature. The interior spaces in this project go pretty much unnoticed and the main focus is outdoors, which is quintessential to the living style in Los Angeles.
In Second Home Hollywood, instead of bringing the garden inside the office, we have brought the office out to the garden. 60 one level stand-alone offices in the garden of a Paul Williams building. Offices (pots) surrounded by planters (plant pots). Over 10,000 plants and trees, many butterflies, ants, bees, squirrels… and humans inhabit these pots.
The wooden and concrete paths break through the garden with plants in both sides, as a stroll through yearlong flowers. “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change”. Second Home Hollywood is an experiment for the average office worker: co-exist daily with living things other than humans. This approximation to nature is not the only step towards a more sustainable living: plants reduce the temperature and provide shade; the clear façade eliminates the necessity of artificial lighting and has three operable openings for natural cross-ventilation; all the water at the site is collected in two cisterns totaling 140,060 l of storage capacity to be used for irrigation.
Second Home Hollywood has replaced 8,436 sq. m of hardscape for 6,503 sq. m of landscape. What previously was a parking lot is now a garden. It is one of the few private developments in history in which the footprint of the built-environment has been returned to natural-environment.
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Client: Second Home
Gross Floor Area: 6,273 m2
Costs of Construction: 18,529,200 Euros
Architect and Interior Design: SelgasCano
Principals in Charge: José Selgas, Lucía Cano
Design Team: Diego Cano-Lasso, María Levene, Inés Olavarrieta, Paolo Tringali, Sixto Cordero, Víctor Jiménez, Sara Ouass, Pilar Cano-Lasso, Catalina Vázquez, Juan José Muñoz Muñoz, Julian Ocampo, Juan Saez Pedraja
Main Contractors: Swinerton, Second Home USA
Structural: Walter P. Moore
Mechanical: Henderson Engineers
Landscape: SelgasCano, Second Home
Civil: KPFF Consulting Engineers
Furniture and Lighting: Alejandro Cano
Photography: © Iwan Baan, courtesy of the author
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