Local architect Pete Lassen critiques the latest design for the “Montana Triangle” located on Montana Street and Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park. He argues, “A building in this location should express is that it is an integral part of Echo Park, that it belongs to the community….This [new] proposal simply does not belong here.” Do you agree with his sentiments, or do you like the latest revision? Read the full article after the jump!
By Peter Lassen
For some time now, a number of community representatives, including myself, have been meeting with the developers of the “Montana Triangle” on the southwest corner of Glendale Boulevard and Montana Street. The goal was to ensure that anything built on that lot will fit the community aesthetic and be a jewel that the pass-through commuters will want to visit, and so we have suggested that the new building be an inviting pavilion with deep roof overhangs, lots of glass windows, and a roof garden. The new building should give a feeling of openness to all with few walls and be set in a garden-like atmosphere.
After the meetings we have had, I was fascinated to see that a newly designed building is being proposed for the triangle property – and it is completely different from anything we have seen in past renderings. The new designs, submitted by Spacecraft Group, show a building that appears to be made of concrete block, has no windows on the east side, facing Lakeshore Avenue, or the north side, facing Montana Street.
While the designers have provided advertising posters on the east facing wall to give it a warmer feel, surely this wall will become a graffiti magnet.
The rooftop terrace is one part of the new renderings that are in-line with our recommendations.. However, it is not particularly well-designed: It has no shading structures, and the roof plantings are mostly located at the perimeter edges of the building. This will not be viewed with any pleasure from the hillsides that look down on the building.
This new proposal for a very prominent location in Echo Park is mediocre, at best. A building in this location should express is that it is an integral part of Echo Park, that it belongs to the community, and that this is the right place for it to be. However, the new renderings expresses an architecture of wall-like a prison, and makes no gesture at all to the neighborhood aesthetic. It is oriented to Glendale Blvd commuters and, like the average fast food emporium, could be located anywhere. This proposal simply does not belong here.
Back to the drawing board?
See renderings from Spacecraft below: