Olson Kundig’s Love Letter to Modern Los Angeles Living
Love letters are lost art. Penmanship, romanticism and storytelling have given way to the disposable digital age of Twitter, TikTok and Instagram.
This is also true in Los Angeles real estate. Fancy done flyovers typically highlight eye candy beach homes and helicoptered hillside estates which have almost become cliché. Now that vertical living is officially a thing here, why not showcase a less superficial property with a more personal touch?
One West Hollywood turnkey project pays homage to the best of the City of Angels, a love letter dedicated to diverse Los Angeles Living—8899 Beverly Boulevard (a design-centric tower) and the adjoining Rosewood Homes (exclusive single-family mansions).
Townscape Partners tapped Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig (Bill Gates’ architect) to honor the best of Los Angeles’ architectural heritage with the romantic enthusiasm of Schindler, Neutra or Gehry, who beautifully framed modern structures against the city’s natural landscape.
How did they do this? The firm transformed the mid-century architecture and interiors of this adaptive reuse into a warm, livable, residential sanctuary that infuses high design, car culture, and seamless indoor-outdoor penthouse-level living aided by Vitrocsa disappearing walls.
“This project presented an interesting opportunity to reimagine an existing, mid-century building for a changing urban landscape,” says Tom Kundig, architect at Olson Kundig. “We’re adapting the program from office to residential and updating the building itself to serve the needs of modern users, while keeping the elements of Richard Dorman’s original design that are really special. I’m interested in architecture that tells an evolutionary story—reflecting changes in how we live, how we plan cities—rather than a revolutionary one. 8899 Beverly Boulevard is a great example of that.”
The 8899 Beverly Boulevard tower represents understated luxury, an architectural curiosity destined to open eyes and minds about modern vertical living in West Hollywood. Blending old with new, the 10-story tower distinguishes with minimalist Vitrocsa glass exteriors, and custom walnut-and-bronze entry doors with Tom Kundig handcrafted handles wrapped in leather.
“A door handle is such a tactile piece of hardware, that needs to feel good in your hand as well as being functional, so we took our time to make sure they would be special,” says Kundig.
“Inside the units, we used warm, natural materials like travertine—a nod to the geology of the area—as well as bronze, which will patina beautifully over time,” he adds. “The interiors are designed to create a refuge from the activity of the city while still capturing views and indoor-outdoor connections.”
The 40 residences span from 1,119 to 7,151 square feet, offering one to four bedrooms, 11-foot ceilings, white oak flooring, hotel-style concierge services, and an average of 350 square feet of outdoor space with jetliner vistas of Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Hills, San Gabriel Mountains and Century City.
Large lower floor terraces have built-in obsidian black metal clad planters. Shared spaces include a gym, private yoga studio, a dog park, and 12,000 square feet of gardens.
The Rosewood Houses is a collection of eight grand single-family mansions lining the backside of the tower (on Rosewood Avenue) crafted from materials like stone, bronze, wood, etc. Each Rosewood home enjoys the same lifestyle amenities and services as the 8899 Beverly tower, with its own dedicated house manager.
“The Rosewood Houses are a totally unique hybrid of product for LA,” says Fredrik Eklund of Eklund-Gomes, Rosewood Houses’ exclusive representative. “There is no offering where you can live in a mansion designed by Olson Kundig and also have the amenities of a luxury building at your fingertips.”
The Rosewood Houses only represent Olson Kundig’s second residential project in Los Angeles (its Collingwood home is currently listed for $62 million). The single-family residences will range from three to four bedrooms (spanning 2,899 to 4,000 square feet) featuring individual plunge pools, and select guest houses and art studios. The first Rosewood Houses will launch in spring 2021.
“These eight distinct contemporary homes are woven into the fabric of their vibrant West Hollywood neighborhood at the base of the Hollywood Hills,” says Kevin M. Kudo-King, design Principal. “While each one has its own identity—just as the eclectic neighboring houses do—collectively, they are about craft and material expression.”