Case Study

L+O Retail

Set on an irregular site in North Hollywood, Calif., L+O is a 310,000-square-foot mixed-use building. In addition to a 27,000-square-foot Amazon Fresh grocery store, the building has 297 units, 25 of which are very low income.

The irregular, 2.04-acre site is made up of two distinct parcels in two different zones with no alley and connected by a 25-foot-wide hinge. The unique triangular parcel was a result of Lankershim Boulevard diagonally bisecting the typical Los Angeles grid, which offered a design opportunity to shape the iconic corner.

The seven-story building’s scale was a major design concern, given the building runs 300 feet along Lankershim Blvd., and another 275 feet along Otsego Street. The diagonally bisected corner gave the architects the opportunity to create a series of stacked floors with every alternating floor inset, allowing the corner to interlock.

The main five-story mass is anchored by a two-story concrete frame. Every alternating floor is inset and clad with horizontally and vertically striated metal panels that interlock at the corner. Due to the horizontal layering, the stacked floors are bisected by projecting balconies and brightly colored frames clad in perforated metal.

“A challenge was integrating the market and maximizing exterior glazing at the corner for pedestrian orientation,” says Don E. Empakeris, AIA, NCARB, principal of DE Architects AIA, Santa Monica, Calif. “With no alley, the market feasibility depended on providing interior circulation through the ground floor parking for a 55-foot delivery truck to reach the loading area and exit.”

The project features 16,000 square feet of T16-E metal wall panels in Mistique Plus from Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp., Louisville, Ky. The 24-gauge aluminum-zinc, alloy-coated steel sheet with exposed fasteners has a two-coat Kynar 500 finish. The architects chose the metal panels for their square edge profile, which provided a crisp, finished look from the street. To provide material and labor cost savings, a perforated version of the panel is used on the interior balconies, which incorporated a full panel width.

“The stacked metal clad floors pay homage to the history predating the NOHO Arts District, when the area consisted primarily of metal-clad light industrial buildings,” notes Empakeris.

L+O has a 10,000-square-foot rooftop oasis with pool, residents’ lounge, and recreational and game rooms. There’s also a podium garden, 3,000-square-foot state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor fitness center, multipurpose yoga room, a lounge and business center. A three-level garage has parking for 564 cars.

Photos: John Linden

Article courtesy of Metal Architecture

Project Details

L+O Retail

Project Size: 310,000
Project Completion Date: 2020
Project Type: Retail
Architect: DE Architects
Installer: Tinco Sheet Metal

General Contractor: Snyder Langston Residential