Highlights From Three Projects for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Over the course of the past three years I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work closely with one of the most well-recognized architectural firms in the world—Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM). Now, I’m thrilled to share some gallery images from three shoots I’ve done for SOM in and around Los Angeles.

Sunset La Cienega Residences

SLC VideoYou may know this sprawling mixed-use residential development as AKA West Hollywood, but at the time of the shoot it was still known as the SLC Residences at the corner of Sunset and La Cienega boulevards. In addition to capturing a series of still images of the building’s eye-catching façade, this project also constituted my first foray into drone videography. With the help of the aerial cinematography specialists at Drone Dudes, we were able to record an aerial montage of the 388,000 square-foot complex’s exterior that showcases its best features against the backdrop of a stunning sunrise over Los Angeles.

This expansive residential development is characterized by a folded façade that casts dramatic shifting shadows as the Southern California sun traverses its surface. Meanwhile, residents of the development’s two eight-story towers can enjoy breathtaking views of the Los Angeles Basin and surrounding area. This project was completed in a joint effort between SOM and Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA).

United States Federal Courthouse   

U.S. Federal CourthouseLocated in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, this structure is instantly recognizable thanks to its innovative “floating cube” design. From street level, the monolithic glass building seems to defy gravity as it hovers over its concrete foundation. SOM’s architects describe the structure as “both modern in spirt and rooted in classic principles of federal architecture.”

Notable features of the courthouse include a rooftop photovoltaic array and pleated window panes that are designed to facilitate airflow and reduce the structure’s annual solar radiation load by as much as 47 percent. These environmentally-friendly design features allowed the U.S. Federal Courthouse to achieve LEED® Platinum certification and meet the General Services Administration’s 2020 energy objective.

UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

David Geffen SchoolNot only was the clean, contemporary design of Geffen Hall captured during this shoot, I was also graced with some wonderful candid moments from members of the student body. The interior shots had the benefit of ample natural light from the building’s windows, while the exterior shots showcase the structure’s uniquely Californian setting.

With its generous use of open space and lush foliage, the David Geffen School of Medicine is able to foster a relaxed, inviting environment that supports the most current technologies and teaching styles. The overall effect simply seems to make students want to learn. It’s a welcome departure from some of the more sterile academic buildings on other college campuses. Through these images, you can catch glimpses of the lively educational atmosphere that typifies this gorgeous campus.

UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

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Located at the southeastern corner of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus between the Center for Health Sciences and the neighboring Westwood community, Geffen Hall serves as a gateway for the David Geffen School of Medicine and the UCLA campus as a whole.

The 88,000 square foot, six-story teaching and learning facility incorporates planning and design that supports the most current technologies, innovative teaching styles, and greater connections between students, faculty, and the broader community. Geffen Hall is designed to provide sustainable environments and functional spaces for education, administration, socializing, and relaxation.

ICM PARTNERS – Corporate Headquarters Renovation by HOK

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The prestigious Talent Agency, ICM, selectedHOK to design their new 105,000 square foot office space in Century City, Los Angeles. Moving upstairs from their former offices to the top five floors of the Constellation Place Building, ICM’s new office space is designed to provide a comfortable, private and impressive environment for their celebrity clientele. HOK designed three sizes of offices for the agents of corresponding seniority in this classically hierarchical business.

Non agents work in new wood-clad workstations and senior agents relocated their
existing customized office furniture, while the junior agents have new standardized furniture. Each floor has its own centrally located production center and pantry.

An existing five story staircase was renovated to complement the timeless, restrained and professional décor. Two large conference rooms seat twenty at the tables and are equipped with state of the art audio visual capability. The focal point of the space is the two-story reception area with a basalt reception desk in front of a commissioned painting, a large custom Indian rug, new lounge furniture and a twenty feet high by fourteen feet wide LED light tapestry that hangs from the top of the stairwell.

The Wolff House by John Lautner, FAIA 1961

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The house, as was often stated by Lautner, was his only homage to his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright. This residence demonstrates Lautner’s use of expressive engineering and design to seamlessly integrate the residence into it’s natural environment with essential geometric forms and creating an organic flow between the interior and exterior. The main residence and adjoining guest house share a copper-lined roof and sit high above the city. While only minutes from Sunset Boulevard, the park-like grounds offer a peaceful and quiet refuge from urban life. Inside a large eucalyptus tree grows in between the dramatic bouquet canyon stone supporting wall and the living room’s 16 foot floor-to-ceiling windows and doors which open to views across Los Angeles and beyond. There is a contrast of warm and cool light, like that at dawn and dusk, that fills the house through most of the day. The main residence also includes a Bulthaup stainless steel kitchen and a master bedroom leading to its own private pool and balconies. The Guest house is a second structure with a flexible floor plan offering 3 additional bedrooms and/or an office or media room. The result is the ultimate expression of timeless modernism. The main residence is listed as a California State Monument, is subject to Mills Act tax benefits, and is represented by Private Client Services Realty.