Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Lofts at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles
July 1st, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Brooks + Scarpa (formerly Pugh + Scarpa)
Cherokee Mixed-Use Lofts is an urban infill, mixed-use, market-rate housing project. The building is inspired by the series of paintings by the British artist Patrick Hughes titled, “Perspectivity”, whose paintings appear to be ever changing and physically moving while being viewed. At Cherokee the main architectural feature of this project is the building’s owner-controlled operable double façade system. By allowing the occupant to adjust, at will, the operable screens of the building façade, the facade is virtually redesigned “live” from within the space, reflecting the occupants of the building within, in real time. The screens also enhance the existing streetscape and promote a lively pedestrian environment. By visually breaking up the façade into smaller articulated moving elements, the building appears to move with the passing cars and people. In effect, it becomes a live canvas to be painted upon daily or more often. Like many features of the building, the façade is multivalent and rich with meaning performing several roles for formal, functional and experiential effect.
The perforated anodized aluminum panels of the building creates an ever- changing screen that sparkles in the sun and glows at night, while simultaneously providing shade to cool the building, reducing noise, enhancing privacy, and still allowing for spectacular views, great natural light and ventilation from ocean breezes which pass through its millions of perforations even when all panels are closed. The material reappears as a strategic arrangement of screens on the east, west and south-facing walls, lending a subtle rhythm to the exterior circulation. South-facing screen walls filter direct sunlight that lends unexpected visual depth while creating a sense of security for the occupants. Enhancing the structure’s geometric texture, the irregular array of moveable openings variably extrudes from the building’s surface. Its unique architectural form and integrated function creates a high-performing building that is an expression of the people who live there and the environmental and cultural context in which it is built.
Cherokee is the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum (pending) Certified building in Hollywood and is the first LEED Platinum Certified mixed-use or market rate multi-family building in Southern California. The building distinguishes itself from most conventionally developed projects in that it incorporates energy efficient measures that exceed standard practice, optimize building performance, and ensure reduced energy use during all phases of construction and occupancy. The planning and design of Cherokee Lofts emerged from close consideration and employment of passive design strategies. These strategies include: locating and orienting the building to control solar cooling loads; shaping and orienting the building for exposure to prevailing winds; shaping the building to induce buoyancy for natural ventilation; designing windows to maximize day lighting; shading south facing windows and minimizing west-facing glazing; designing windows to maximize natural ventilation; utilizing low flow fixtures and storm water management; shaping and planning the interior to enhance daylight and natural air flow distribution. These passive strategies alone make this building more than 40% more efficient than California Title 24 and a conventionally designed similar structure.
The development pays homage to the significant musical and Hollywood history of Cherokee Recording Studios, MGM Studios before it, and all the artists who recorded music on the site, from Frank Sinatra to David Bowie to Dave Matthews.
Cherokee Lofts consists of 12 market-rate lofts and 2800 square feet of retail space. The building is 5 stories including 1 underground level of parking, first floor retail and parking, three floors of lofts on floors 2 through 4 and a rooftop deck and green roof.
The lofts units range in size from 1,000 square feet to 2,000 square feet. Seven of the lofts are two-story town homes perched 30 to 50 feet above street level. The living space consists of a state of the art kitchen, great room, bathroom, and home recording studio or office on the 4th floor, 38 feet above street level to maximize city skyline views, daylight, and energy efficiency. Three of the lofts have 17-foot high ceilings with mezzanines and open to a lushly landscaped courtyard. Finally, two loft flats have 10-foot high ceilings, also opening to the landscaped courtyard.
The building is located at 751 N. Fairfax, just north of Melrose right around the corner from the increasingly popular Melrose Heights Fashion District. It also borders West Hollywood and is ¾ mile from the center of the Sunset Strip.
Cherokee is 40% more energy efficient than California’s Title 24, the most demanding energy code in the United States. Advanced VFR Cooling and Heating Comfort System, which was used in Canada’s new 2010 Olympic Village, cools and warms floors, ceilings, and walls to create a perfectly temperate environment better for respiratory systems, skin, overall health, comfort and energy efficiency.
Passive solar design strategies and proper building orientation, using the central courtyard between the two residential structures, allows for day lighting on both sides of every unit and shading, while allowing prevailing breezes to fully pass through the units for natural ventilation. Green Roof provides greenery for occupants to enjoy while keeping the building better insulated, cleaning the air, and reducing storm water runoff.
Water Conservation is accomplished with dual flush toilets, efficient plumbing fixtures, hot water circulators, and drought tolerate landscaping. All stormwater runoff is collected in a underground retention basin located in the public right-of-way, the first such stormwater system in the city of Los Angeles.
A 30kw PV solar system powers all common area electrical loads and approximately 11.5% of the heating and hot water needs for the building. The building is located within walking distance to many neighborhood community needs and services and scores “Walker’s Paradise” (94 out of 100) on walkscore.com. Green Materials and Products are used throughout that are recycled, renewable, and contain low or no VOC’s.
Cherokee Mixed-Use Lofts
DOE High Performance Building Database
The building is an urban infill, market-rate mixed-use housing. The main architectural feature of this project is the building’s owner-controlled operable double façade system. By allowing the occupant to adjust, at will, the operable screens of the building façade, the facade is virtually redesigned everyday from within the space, reflecting the occupants of the building in real time. The screens also enhance the existing streetscape and promote a lively pedestrian environment. By visually breaking up the façade into smaller articulated moving elements, the building appears to move with the passing cars and people. In effect, it becomes a live canvas to paint upon, at will. Like many features of the building, the façade is multivalent and rich with meaning performing several roles for formal, functional and experiential effect.
The front facade is designed with a series of perforated aluminum screens that filter early morning light into the front units on the east and protect the west units from the setting sun. The building is oriented to capture prevailing breezes and to filter sunlight through a large southeast facing, 4-story perforated galvanized screen to the interior courtyard. Most of the units have windows on opposite perimeter walls to allow natural cross ventilation. Low flow fixtures are used throughout. R21 blown-in natural cellulose insulation was used in walls and R30 in roof. No VOC paints and finishes, recycled content materials and 100% FSC certified wood products were used. 80% of combined C & D materials were recycled. A green roof and storm water catch basin located in the public right-of-way captures and treats all of the rainwater that falls on the site.
The result is a careful balance of passive solar design and mechanical comfort systems. The building is certified LEED “Platinum” by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency
Environmentally Friendly Materials
Clean Air, Comfort and Quiet
Cherokee Mixed-Use Lofts – Energy Analysis Summary
Base case energy model was T24 2005, Energy pro 4.3 by EnergySoft. The electricity consumption includes 30,000 kWh (102,360 Mbtu/yr) of PV solar contribution, and savings of 10 Mbtyu/yr in process load, calculated outside of the modeling program. Both of these savings were accepted by the USGBC under credit EAc1. Natural gas in the building is higher than the base, however, this energy is for hot water consumption only. Space heating is done electrically and shows a savings in the design over the base case.