Morphosis Unveils New Details for Design of 8850 Sunset
New mixed-use development will harness the creative energy of Sunset Boulevard while creating a sustainable live-work-play building model for the future
Los Angeles-based global architecture and design firm, Morphosis, engaged by developer, Silver Creek Commercial Development, have unveiled new details about the design for 8850 Sunset Boulevard, a mixed-use project on the Sunset Strip in the City of West Hollywood, with construction scheduled to begin in 2021.
Designed to exemplify the iconic attractions of Los Angeles, the 8850 Sunset project will activate the heart of the Sunset Strip with a remarkable mixed-use vision that includes affordable housing, condominiums, a public banquet hall and meeting spaces, and a luxury hotel. The project’s programming will be supported by gardens and landscaped balconies, pedestrian-oriented outdoor dining, and a revitalized vision for the Viper Room nightclub.
“In approaching this project, we wanted the design to reflect the spirit of what makes Sunset Boulevard the iconic destination that it is, while pushing towards a 21st century Los Angeles that is greener, denser, more sustainable, and more pedestrian-oriented,” said Pritzker Prize-winning architect and Morphosis Founding Partner Thom Mayne. “8850 Sunset is both a response to the history of the site and a model for future urban developments that bridge commercial, social, and residential life while engaging with the public.”
The design and mixed-use program contribute to the activity and liveliness of the surrounding community throughout the day and night, with street level cafés, restaurants and bars, retail spaces, a hotel, and residences. Building on the unique history of the local area, the development will feature the Viper Room, a re-envisioned music venue that will pay tribute to the history, character, and legacy of the storied Viper Room nightclub. The residential portion of the design includes 31 market-rate condominiums and 10 affordable housing units as well as state-of-the-art residential amenities.
“This project is all about light, space, landscape; all elements that define the iconic spaces of southern California,” said Morphosis Partner and Project Principal Arne Emerson. “But it’s also about the creative energy of West Hollywood and the Sunset Strip in particular—capturing the sense of exuberant optimism for the present and the future that has defined Sunset Boulevard through its many historical iterations and identities. Fostering an active street life—with music spaces, outdoor dining, bars, restaurants, and attractive public space—is a central focus to our vision for this project.”
The project is the latest in the transformative evolution of the legendary Sunset Strip, which has seen the addition in recent years of a number of new mixed-use developments and buildings.
“8850 Sunset responds to the past and future of the neighborhood through its creative design and thoughtful programming,” said Mick Unwin with Plus Development based in Los Angeles, which is managing the project.
The building’s bridged form, which will be approximately 239,000 square feet and 15 stories, responds to the eclectic scale of neighboring buildings on Sunset Boulevard, while maintaining light, views, and open space connections that reflect the local environment. At the street level, a two-story podium with cafes, public spaces, and retail echoes the scale and granularity of traditional storefronts along Sunset Boulevard, creating a site-specific dialogue between the new development and the surrounding area. Bookending the podium, two rising volumes are separated by a 100-ft-wide gap that opens views and sunlight through the site and helps break up the mass of the building as its perceived from the street. A skybridge connects the two volumes to create an unparalleled destination for the public, with panoramic city, hillside, and ocean views. The eastern building will contain the residences while the western building will house the hotel. The bridge incorporates a restaurant and bar with an outdoor dining terrace, and the balcony level holds a swimming pool and event space, creating a new outdoor dining and social space to the Sunset Strip.
The design aims to achieve a LEED Gold rating, incorporating passive and active strategies to reduce water and energy usage as well as the impact on the environment. Taking advantage of the Southern California climate, the building maximizes the energy saving and enhancing qualities of landscape, with a green roof on top of the podium and continuous planters at the condominium balcony edges. These landscaped areas reduce heat and energy loads, act as a buffer for rainwater management, and create natural habitats for local fauna, while providing health benefits to the building inhabitants by reducing air and noise pollution and providing a connection to nature in an urban environment. All spaces in the building are designed to maximize natural ventilation and daylighting while reducing direct solar gain. The building façade and exterior will incorporate high-performance glass, highly insulative façades, and green roofs to minimize energy usage.
The design seeks to minimize impact to the surrounding area by providing all off-street valet and drop-off, loading, and parking zones in the basement levels, with access from two streets. Ample space has been built into the design for off-street queuing and parking to reduce congestion on side streets.