Places– of charm

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!

W HotelThe hotel lobby includes a pedestrian bridge and a corkscrew-shaped chandelier. (Tim Street-Porter)
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5 thoughts on “Places– of charm

  1. Mary Alice Tallmadge

    Kathleen, I have seen photos of W Hotel. The rooftop pool looks amazing– unsurpassed Hollywood with expensive white vinyl lounge chairs and inviting aqua water.

  2. Reba Studebaker

    The land is owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. W Hotel will get a lot of tourists as hotel guests, commuters, diners and tenants. I’m driving to L.A. today and plan to stop over to see this!

  3. Kathleen Rowland

    The hotel suites have remarkable views of Hollywood Hills and landmarks– Capitol Records and Griffith Observatory. I love it that every space accommodates wheelchairs. I’m impressed because Harriet McBride Johnson and members of the Not Dead Yet community could access everything and enjoy themselves.

  4. Mary Alice Tallmadge

    Wonderful! Harriet Johnson is an attorney and disability rights activist. I love the humor of the Not Dead Yet group. I’m a token cripple with my missing foot.

  5. Kathleen Rowland

    There was a time, not so far in the past, that Harriet Johnson described how she “rode broom closet” elevators. A lot of architecture separated her from other humans. Her great intelligence makes her a super human.

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