The first project of development of Grand Avenue - one of the central streets of Los Angeles, which authorities are going to turn from a "showcase" of notable architectural structures (such as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels by Raphael Moneo or the Frank Gehry Disney Concert Hall), interspersed with parking lots, is presented, a diverse area, an artery of city life, attracting residents 24 hours a day. The famous Champs Elysees in Paris has been suggested as an example.
For this, it was decided to introduce residential buildings into the development, which is fully consistent with the modern trend of people returning to the city from the suburbs, as well as all kinds of commercial and leisure establishments (shops, restaurants, nightclubs) and a large park.
It was decided to divide the large-scale project (its history dates back to the 1970s) into three stages. And it is the first, developed by Frank Gehry, that is now presented to the public.
He focused on the block next to his Disney Concert Hall. Therefore, the main idea of the project is to "shade" the curvilinear forms and metallic sheen of its famous building in 2003.
The ensemble consists of two towers of 47 and 24 floors, at the bottom supplemented by three and four-storey glass pavilions with inclusions of limestone panels. Nearby will be a 6.5 hectare park, the author of the project of which has not yet been determined.
This phase of the Grand Avenue plan is to be completed between the end of 2006 and 2009.
The next two phases, which include new residential and office high-rise buildings, will begin in 2011 and 2014, respectively. The names of their architects are still unknown.
Gehry's project involves the placement of two towers along the edges of the block, which not only ties the ensemble together, but also warns of a serious threat: project critics predicted that high-rise buildings in neighboring blocks would obscure views of Disney Hall from many points in downtown Los Angeles. The taller tower will be "draped" with glass, like a cloth. The exact choice of the type of this material has not yet been made, since much will depend on the cost of the project, which has already reached the amount of 750 million dollars. It will be occupied by a hotel with 275 beds and 250 luxury apartments on the upper floors. A more strict, but also glazed, smaller high-rise building will be used for 150 expensive apartments and 100 cheaper ones.
The low-rise buildings at the base of the towers will house restaurants, various shops, a supermarket, and an art gallery. The pavilions will have rooftop gardens designed by landscape designer Lori D. Olin.
Glass as the main material for the walls of new buildings should create the impression of lightness and transparency compared to a concert hall. It and the neighboring block will be tied by garlands of electric lamps stretched over the street, as well as a pavement of various types of stone proposed by Gehry for Grand Avenue.