Los Angeles Times architectural critic Christopher Hawthorne (with supporting evidence from photographers Tim Street-Porter and Robert Gauthier) describes the new W Hotel complex as one part Hollywood vanity and one part subway plaza. Do you agree it is an interesting experiment in city planning? The 15-story, $600-million development (designed by Dallas HKS, combines a single L-shaped site of W’s Hotel and condominium towers with a 375-unit apartment block called 1600 Vine. Do you think the result is ungainly or is it an elegant addition to the rapidly expanding Hollywood skyline? Los Angeles, Christopher Hawthorne reminds us, is moving toward a state of contemporary urbanism, a city groping toward a denser, more viertical and more public future while still reluctant to abandon its love affair with the car and glossier, more exclusive corners of celebrity culture. The rooftop pool (photo by Robert Gauthier below) has quite the view of downtown!
|The hotel lobby includes a pedestrian bridge and a corkscrew-shaped chandelier. (Tim Street-Porter)|