NoHo Commons is one of the first transit-oriented projects in Los Angeles. Located across the street from the North Hollywood metro station, the 1.1 million square-foot project creates 24-hour activity on the site with approximately 700 mixed-income residential units, office, retail, dining, and entertainment. The Jerde Partnership planned NoHo Commons with a village-like urban character that establishes a communal heart for the NoHo Arts District. Jerde also designed the project with generous open spaces, landscaping, water features, seating areas, and a public art installation to enhance the streetscape and create a vibrant pedestrian experience linking the metro, Academy of Arts and Sciences and surrounding area. Developed in three phases, NoHo’s third phase of office spaces was designed as a sustainable project expected to exceed energy efficiency requirements by 40 percent.
In 1979, the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA) initiated an effort to reinvigorate blighted North Hollywood. In 1992, business owners in the area banded together to establish the NoHo Arts District. The district features more than 20 working theaters, art galleries, cafes, professional dance studios, shops and the largest concentration of music recording venues west of the Mississippi. After 13 years in planning, the North Hollywood metro station opened in June 2000 as the starting point for the 17.4-mile Red Line. In anticipation of the new subway, new businesses had already moved to the area. The foot traffic however, could not support the increasing rents for storefronts. In 2001, J.H. Snyder Company and CRA/LA partnered to redevelop an under-utilized area across the street from the metro station. Given its location, NoHo Commons was envisioned as a transit-oriented community with a mix of uses that would bring 24- hour activity to the site and serve as a catalyst for the entire district. Located along Lankershim Blvd., Weddington St., and Chandler Blvd., the project is within walking distance of the Academy of Television Arts and close to Universal Studios and the many studios in Burbank.
Master Plan and Design
NoHo Commons is among the first mixed-use projects in Los Angeles to be designed and built around a mass transit terminal. Jerde planned it as a new communal center that would activate the site and revitalize the district. Serving as an anchor for the North Hollywood metro station, the project creates a vital gateway to the NoHo Arts District. NoHo Commons is planned with a human scale that enhances the Lankershim, Weddington, and Chandler streetscapes, and creates pedestrian connectivity to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and other adjacent sites. The design features a pedestrian-scaled streetscape with wide sidewalks, generous open spaces, off-street paths, seating areas, landscaping, and water features.
The primary street of Lankershim is lined with storefronts, landscaping, and street furniture that encourage pedestrian activity. Parallel to Lankershim, an interior path links to the residential component. The apartments and lofts open onto public spaces to create a “village” feel. NoHo Commons was developed in three phases. The first was a residential complex designed by Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh (VTBS) that contains 438 one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 630 to 1,105 sq ft. The second phase added 278 residential lofts and 14 live-work lofts designed by VTBS, as well as a Jerde-designed retail center featuring a dozen stores and restaurants and a gourmet market popular with both residents and the community at large.
Located at the southeast corner of the Lankershim and Weddington intersection is the third phase of the project. 5250 Lankershim Plaza includes a nine-story office, an entertainment venue and a parking structure. It also features the historic 1920s-era Phil’s Diner, a registered historic landmark relocated into the project, expanded and refurbished with its recreated original signage. The project’s commercial block and 5250 Lankershim Plaza office building were designed to complement and combine the two blocks along Lankershim Blvd. The long horizontal lines from Noho Commons are captured and bookended by the final Phase III office form. The shape of the building draws people into the project and encourages them to circulate its perimeter along a path connecting How’s market alley space on one side and the Television Academy’s open space on the other. Each elevation responds to its urban interface; the building is fronted by a sweeping curved curtain wall facing Lankershim which then fades back from the street edge inviting pedestrians into its corner plaza.
The class-A office was designed by Jerde as a sustainable building that will exceed energy efficiency standards by 40 percent. It is projected to earn LEED Gold certification. Designed to combine organic textures with high-tech materials, the office is engineered with high-performance products and systems. Floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls on all elevations optimize natural light throughout. The glass was designed to work synergistically with the concrete frame, which acts as a thermal sponge that both absorbs heat and emits cool air during the day and emits warmth as it absorbs the cooler night air. Heat-absorbing glass and efficient DX technology will further minimize heat gain. Vertical accent fins on the office exterior are designed to provide functional shading on the southern and western exposures while serving as an enhancement to the district’s overall art theme. Other features include waterless urinals; floor mounted toilets that use less water; and high efficiency lighting, including LED and cold cathode lamping. The roof of the cinema is a green space that will reduce heat load and conserve energy within the theater, as well as provide a visual amenity for tenants of the office tower. A solar system is being considered for the rooftop of the parking structure. The office’s 20,000 square-foot floor plate, which is supported with only three free-standing, cylindrical columns, allows for flexible and open interior layouts. The floor-to-ceiling glass provides panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley’s mountains and sky. Clean and contemporary in style, the crafted box serves as a fitting center piece to North Hollywood’s arts district. The elegant and hand finished concrete structure is expressed through a singular crystal grey curtain wall, while a full height accent of orange glass will become a signature brush stroke to the arts districts urban landscape.Location: Los Angeles, USA Design Architect: The Jerde Partnership Cost: $375 million
Phase I: opening December 2006
Phase II: opening June 2007
Phase III: opening August 2009
Site area: 23 acres
Total Building Area: 92,000 sq meters
Residential: 45,000 sq meters (438 units, 115 affordable)
Residential lofts: 25,000 sq meters (250 units, 28 affordable)
Retail/gourmet market: 5,500 sq meters
Live-work lofts: (14 units) 1,800 sq meters
Office: 16,700 sq meters
Retail/entertainment/dining: 2,800 sq meters
Parking: 720 spaces
Developer: J.H. Snyder Co.
Master planner; design architect, office, parking, retail, dining, cinema, office: The Jerde Partnership
Architect of Record: JZMK Partners MEP Levine Seegel
Associates: Elevator Consultant Edgett Williams
Consulting Group: Civil Engineer Diamond West
Incorporated: Curtain Wall Walters and Wolf
Lighting: OMB Electrical Engineers, Inc.
Architect, residences: Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, AIA
Landscape design: The LA Group
Interior Designer (residences): Faulkner Design Group
Scheduling: Poulsen Construction Management, Inc.