Mixed-use complex Granville 1500 | The Plan
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Mixed-use complex Granville 1500

Apartments That Build Community

Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects - LOHA

Route 66, the legendary highway that linked Chicago to Los Angeles before it was superseded by interstate freeways, was once known as “America’s Main Street”. The last stretch, before the highway meets the Pacific, is a bleak reminder of how the automobile has drained life from main streets all over the country and fostered low-density sprawl. The dreary succession of cheap storefronts and workshops is ripe for redevelopment, though a parade of over-scaled commercial buildings would only increase the feeling of sterility.
Shining out from this urban wasteland is Granville 1500, a low-rise, high density mixed-use complex that the architect likens to an urban village. It aims to regenerate this section of Santa Monica Boulevard and initiate the process of transforming it into a pedestrian-friendly zone - as West Hollywood has done so successfully, a few kilometers to the east. Ironically, it occupies the site of a former car dealership. It is the latest in a collection of urbane projects that won LOHA (Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects) three major awards from THE PLAN last year, and it is located next to one of those, Westgate 1515. Both extend the full width of a city block, both comprise four floors of apartments rising from a podium of street-level retail and subterranean parking, and both have been bought by UCLA for student housing. And yet, though they are of equal size and are both clad in a similar ribbed metal - a LOHA trademark, as white enameled metal panels were for Richard Meier -, they each have a distinctive character.
Westgate 1515 steps up to the building line with a porous white façade of splayed window openings that contrast with reticent black-toned side elevations. In contrast, Granville 1500 comprises three boldly sculptured blocks set back from a podium that is itself cut away sharply at the corners, folded and recessed at the center to widen the sidewalk and mediate between the private and public...

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