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Luxury High-Rises Sprout Alongside Los Angeles' Expanding Subway

Los Angeles' extended Purple Line subway may very well spur an extension of the "linear downtown" along Wilshire Boulevard. Luxury high-rises are the most conspicuous new arrivals.
September 13, 2017, 1pm PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Luis Penados

With LA Metro's Purple Line subway set to extend from downtown to the Westwood neighborhood by 2024, a spate of ostensibly transit-oriented residential high-rises has recently come online. Antonio Pacheco discusses these predictably luxurious new digs.

Constructed in the Great Recession's wake, "The new buildings are not innovative so much as they are novel, imported typologies for a city in which the wealthiest denizens typically occupy mountainside perches, not the tops of towers."

The new buildings, though close to transit, don't exactly embody the egalitarian spirit. "Their final manifestations, hard-fought as they were, hint at some of the shortcomings the recession generated: generic podium-and-tower massing, use of conventional materials like smooth stucco and glass, and generous, if not overly fussy, shared amenity spaces."

Pacheco closes, "A big question moving forward will be whether developers and city agencies can forego their penchant for oversized parking podiums and whether, when faced with fewer budgetary and entitlement restrictions, architects and developers will begin to truly work toward a locally derived variant of the luxury tower typology." Of course, the other question is: will residents actually use the transit waiting right outside their doors?

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Published on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 in The Architect's Newspaper
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