Monday, November 28 2011

Santa Monica Federal Leases in Weeks


A new mixed-use project at Santa Monica Boulevard and Federal Avenue in West LA, built by Wiseman Development, opened this year during the height of the recession, with the brisk leasing of all 63 units in a matter of weeks.

KFA designed the building to add a fresh modern style to the owner’s portfolio of market-rate rental properties defined by spacious units with high-end finishes. The exterior features white metal cladding with contrasting dark bronze metal work and frames. The project includes 11,000 square feet of retail and three loft-style units at the ground floor with open floor plans, high-ceilings, mezzanines, and direct access to the street.

Monday, November 14 2011

Chic Boutique Hotel Opens on Wilshire’s Miracle Mile


A new boutique hotel– described as a distinctive little jewel box–has opened in the heart of Wilshire Boulevard’s Miracle Mile.

Distinguishing the chic, seven story, 74-room upscale boutique hotel is its luminescent street façade and an exciting rooftop terrace,” said Michael Orwitz, president of Brentwood-based OSM Investment Company, the managing member of 6317 Wilshire LLC, the owner and developer.

Originally, The Hotel Wilshire was a hum-drum medical building built in the 1950s, but in concert with its architectural firm, Killefer Flammang Architects (KFA), Orwitz developed a strategy to appeal to sophisticated travelers doing business in the local area as well as tourists headed for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Pacific Design Center and myriad Westside attractions.

“Fact is,” the developer pointed out, “while the Miracle Mile is a vibrant area, there are relatively few places to enjoy upscale dining and entertainment, which is a void our hotel will fill with the help of Chef Eric Greenspan, of the Foundry on Melrose Avenue.

Another facet of the hotel’s allure is a rooftop terrace that provides sweeping city views, a pool, private cabanas and a fireside lounge.

“Interestingly, several of the building’s branding features also were utilized to qualify as a LEED Silver project,” noted architect Wade Killefer, whose firm is noted for the numerous adaptive reuse projects it has designed downtown.  The building, for example, incorporates energy-saving sun shades which decrease in width from the seventh to the first floor while increasing in volume, thereby densifying the building’s mass at ground level, he explained.

The hip, contemporary exterior is reflected in the modern interior by KNA Design, highlighted by cool grey with yellow accents which reflect the chic and eco-friendly environment.

In its quest to serve upscale guests, the hotel provides extensive business services, with executive conference room, HD LCD TV, hi-speed internet access, WiFi and 24-hour valet services.

The Hotel Wilshire is one of seven boutique hotels in California managed by Greystone Hospitality.

 Hotel Wilshire Project Page

Monday, October 31 2011

KFA Projects Map


Check out this Google Map with virtually all of KFA’s projects.  Click on a pin for project details.

View Map

Wednesday, October 26 2011

Library Hailed as Model for Learning


Housing the nation’s first learning center of its kind, Lafayette Library, designed by Killefer Flammang Architects, won a special citation at the awards program for the California Redevelopment Association.  The project, in Lafayette, CA, was hailed as a “model for learning.”

Lafayette Library and Learning Center Project Page

Wednesday, October 26 2011

Westerly School Arts Building Wins Grand Award


The Killefer Flammang Architects designed Ray Bizjack Arts Village at the Westerly School in Long Beach was awarded the Grand Award in Education Design by the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada.

Jury Comments:
We admired this simple, elegant project because it created such a special learning environment.  The buildings are carefully oriented to define beautiful outdoor classrooms and recreation areas.  The classrooms seem to extend into the courtyard thanks to ample natural light and large sliding glass doors.  This project likely had a very modest budget.  However, it is obvious here that excellent design can elevate any building project to Architecture, even with a modest budget.  This project was well-considered, well-detailed, and simply beautiful.

Westerly School Arts Village Project Page

Thursday, October 20 2011

PS#1 Names KFA for Design of New Building, Renovation


Construction has started on an expansion of PS#1, a private school in Santa Monica, that includes a new multi-purpose building, administrative offices and classrooms.

The program calls for a new two-level, 7,500-square-foot building and a 60-foot covered walkway with photovoltaic panels that link the new and existing buildings, reported Bob Timmerman, KFA principal and project manager.

A contemporary theme will prevail in the new building, he said.

Marking its 40th anniversary this year, PS#1 espouses a philosophy committed to diversity and the reality that children learn in different ways at different times and different rates, says founder and headmaster Joel Pelcyger.

“Different subjects are often brought together under the umbrella of a unifying theme,” added Pelcyger.

A strong advocated of environmental and sustainability issues, the school won the 2011 grand prize for Excellence in Sustainable Economic Development, Social Responsibility and Stewardship of the Environment – a program annually sponsored by the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.

Simply put, Pelcyger said, the award reflects the school’s motto: “Use Less, Do More.”


Monday, October 10 2011

Resort-Like Apartment House Set for Busy La Cienega


A 125-unit, five-story luxury multi-family project with a resort ambience has been announced by developer NMS Properties for the West Hollywood area.

Located at the juncture of La Cienega Boulevard and Westmount Drive, Luxe @ 375, planned to go under construction in October, 2011, will have floor plans that range from 600-1,000 square feet and a broad range of community amenities.

“In effect, we have sought to make Luxe @ 375 a retreat in a busy urban zone,” said KFA project manager Lise Bornstein, noting the profusion of restaurants, stores and shops in the immediate area and nearby Cedars Sinai Hospital and Beverly Center.

Residents will enjoy an array of recreational and relaxation areas including two courtyards and three roof gardens, gym and residents/ theater, noted the architect.

The design solution couples a sleek urban presence along La Cienega Boulevard with a tranquil oasis.  The building steps back along the north side of the project to mitigate the impact on the adjacent residential areas.  A 50-foot lushly landscaped setback also serves as a buffer between the project and neighboring housing.

Echoing the spacious ambience of the project, unique ground floor units have eleven-foot ceilings and large folding doors that open to private patios overlooking lushly landscaped walkways. All units will have high-end finishes.

The exterior, distinguished by smooth steel trowel stucco and sheet metal, will be accented by railed balconies and large expanses of fenestration. A water feature and colorful planting add to the inviting resort enclave.

Luxe @ 375 Project page

Tuesday, October 04 2011

Major Expansion for Restaurant


How about this for a bullish outlook in an uncertain economy?

Bel Air Bar & Grill owner Susan Lord will be adding 50% more space to the upscale Brentwood restaurant, plus a two-level 7,500-square-foot office building.

Although the existing building and new construction will be separate structures, the innovative design by KFA creates the impression that the former and new buildings are one.

“A major thrust of the design strategy was to create a project that would be a Sepulveda landmark in this heavily trafficked location – across from the Morega onramp to the 405 freeway-” explained KFA principal Barbara Flammang. “In addition, the design supports marketing and branding objectives.”

The major element of this strategy is the two-story entry lobby, dramatized by a full-height glass curtain wall, that will link the two structures and provide separate entries for the restaurant, and the office building, related Flammang.

Created by artist Amanda Weil, the compelling glass wall projects a profusion of translucent red bougainvillea visible to passing traffic as well as restaurant visitors.

Interior highlights include a new 2,050-square-foot second floor addition to the restaurant, including a 1,100-square-foot dining area for private events.

The exterior of the building, notes project architect Monica Rodriguez, is clad in porcelain tile, plaster and metal panels.

The small contemporary office building, which is being built to attain a LEED silver rating, is flooded with natural light – a feature highly desired by owner Lord, who will occupy the second level. Lord has owned the restaurant since 2007.

Monday, October 03 2011

Four Developed by Three


You could call Four an “All in the Family” development. It is also one of the few projects created under the Los Angeles ordinance which enables development of single family homes on small lots in multi-family zones.

As its name implies, the Mar Vista project is comprised of four fee simple single family homes designed by KFA’s Wade Killefer, Barbara Flammang, and son Joe, project developer.

The three-level homes –two facing east and two west with six-inch firewalls separating them–share a common driveway for access to individual garages.

“The potential buyers we envisioned were primarily young, college-educated working couples, perhaps with one of them working at home,” related Joe Killefer, 27, a Dartmouth graduate who is a licensed contractor and works as an owner’s representative in a real estate management firm.

Addressing this buyer profile, the design of the 1500-1600 square-foot homes placed a bedroom and bath on the ground floor adjacent to the garage. “This space can be used for a nanny or a home office,” explained the developer. On the second level is the kitchen, living/dining area and a powder room. The third floor provides two bedrooms and two baths. Balconies enhance the living spaces on both second and third levels.

Sensitive to the upscale taste of its intended buyers, the developers provide Bosch appliances, Ceasarstone countertops, porcelanosa tile, Kohler plumbing fixtures, IWC commercial grade windows plus glass-paned garage doors and glass stair treads on the upper flight.

Four has also achieved sustainability and economy by providing high efficiency air conditioning and heating systems, high efficiency water fixtures, tankless water heaters and fluorescent lighting fixtures.  Photovoltaic solar panels are optional. Priced in the upper 700s, the homes are located on 3974-3978 Beethoven St.

Mar Vista Four

Monday, October 03 2011

USC Adds Research Labs


The first step to transform the lower two levels of USC’s Seeley G. Mudd Building from instructional to research laboratories has been completed.

Designed by Killefer Flammang Architects, the renovation created a new chemistry research laboratory suite that provides opens labs and spaces for carrels, specialized lab support, conference and social discourse.

Included in the renovation is a new NMR suite located on the first level of the building.

“New roof-top mechanical equipment was also installed because of the high fume count generated by the lab, and additional capacity was designed into the new exhaust system to accommodate future renovations,” reported KFA principal Barbara Flammang.

KFA has designed 16 projects for USC, including renovations of Hoffman Hall, Bridge Hall and student housing at Pacific Apartments.