Westlake Village Inn This new entry pavilion needed to be raised for truck access, protection from the weather into the Inn conference center, and blend into the existing architectural landscape. The use of the tiered roofs with simple clearstory openings brings light and adds character to this large structure. Materials were chosen to accent elements and bring the scale down to a pedestrian level.
We worked as the Executive Architect, advising designer Dodd Mitchell Design on a 10,000 S.F. project with a total cost of approximately $1.5 million. Our work encompassed Teddy's Bar, the pool area, the second floor, basement, and Tropicana Bar. Our work on Teddy's Bar, in the hotel proper, included creating new spatial opportunities on the main floor on Hollywood Boulevard. The Tropicana Bar involved transforming the pool area and creating a whole new look. There were historical structural problems and accessibility issues we worked out. We advised the client on design opportunities and expedited approvals, as well as ensured value engineering. The project was fast paced with a moving target. We guaranteed every step was carefully accelerated and rose above many roadblocks. For instance, when we were told that it would take a month to get approval for the kitchen consultant; our Principal achieved this in a day. Our focus was on high design and quality, streamlined work. The result was a culturally and historically registered site reflecting these qualities, which we strive for in each job.
This is a 2 part project with multiple phases of design and construction. The first step was to obtain a Change of Use from a historic hotel to a mixed use retail and apartment complex without existing parking. Through the planning and historic hearing process all of this was approved. We removed the exiting wide central stairs and added new floor area within some of the 2 story spaces. The new circulation system for the retail space was now to be off the sidewalks as needed for each tenet. The residential entry was moved to the alley and incorporated a new elevator which could be used by the retail or residential users by key card for security issues. The new retail kitchens needed their own access for deliveries and maintenance. All this was accomplished with shared secure corridors while maintaining the maximum floor area for retail and residential uses. Trash chutes for all spaces were included. The existing central roofed space over the main entry was converted to a terrace deck while providing a light well to a new atrium below with apartment units off of it. We used the mezzanine floor which used to be storage and converted it into more apartment units. In the process of re-framing the entire interior of the building allowing us to remove 2 long existing corridors and more usable space was created. Each unit was designed based on required structural improvements and where we could locate doors to fit under the existing beams with the least amount of demolition and rebuilding. Windows were used as the defining issues for locating what type of rooms where. This was all permitted by varying permits based on what was to be built first to expedite the construction process.
Recently James Heimler, Architect, Inc. (JHAI) was approached by Torrance Plaza Hotel investors to come up with a design scheme for a new renovated and modernize Torrance Plaza Hotel with a Japanese panache to it. JHAI gracefully took the challenge and hit the drawing boards and put their research skills to test. Some of the issues JHAI had to address was the entrance upgrades, parking and security, accessibility upgrades, lobby upgrades, elevator cab and doors, guest rooms and rear patio.
Some of JHAI solutions to these issues were.
One of the projects we have undertaken at the Inn was to expand the Mediterraneo Restaurant patio and add a covered enclosable dinning room all to blend in with the existing structure. Roof lines, structural reinforcement of the existing opened up window wall, grades and access were just some of the elements that needed to be addressed. The idea was to expand on the existing theme of cozy and personable spaces that are relaxing to be in. We achieved this through a double use court yard trellising, covered roof structure, fireplace, protected arched openings and low walls. The variety of materials, size of spaces , seating arrangements all work together in a cohesive simple design.