Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

1/31/2012

What happened: deLab at Hollywood

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Every time I passed by the Hollywood Towers while on the 101, I always think of the Disney Tower of Terror ride first before realizing that someone probably lived right where I was gawking at, so when deLab offered an insider's tour of the newly renovated Hollywood Towers and a Best Western hotel fronting it, I was signed up right away.


On the night of the event, I arrived a bit early and wandered off into La Belle, the newly built tower beside the original. While waiting, I wandered around and found a bright and playful interior in teal and white.



La Belle was a stark contrast to the original historic building west of it. While La Belle was bright and playful, the Hollywood Tower was more contemplative and moody. The interiors were low-lit with luxurious furniture lining each floor. Though much of the interior has been gutted and remodeled, our guide mentioned that the original gold leaf painting on top of the columns on the lobby was still original, not to mention the 1920s elevator that glowed red when in operation.



The Hollywood Tower has amazing views of the highway 101 that cuts right behind it. From there, I could spot the iconic Capitol Records building, the W Hotel and the Knickerbocker. The new owners of the Hollywood Tower obviously had a great sense of fun and they really showed it designing the roof decks.

In one deck, there was what the guide claimed to be "possibly the biggest Twister board" right beside an Alice in Wonderland-type of chess piece. Let me see you lug your Bishop to your Queen! That's a workout in itself.



After the tour, we walked over to the Hollywood Hills Best Western, still owned by its original operators. The Hollywood Hills Best Western was a fun revelation. If I didn't read it on the deLab site, I wouldn't have known it was actually a chain hotel. While seated in a makeshift projection room, designer Brian Lane explained the process his team at Koning Eizenberg underwent to update the decades old hotel. Its pixelated exterior was inspired by the work of Ed Ruscha, a suggestion by the owners Mel and Bernie Adler.


I loved the hotel's amazing collection of signed Hollywood portraits, plus its tongue in cheek signage. Check this one out right by the hallway entrance. Lane emphasized that Koning Eizenberg wasn't given too too much when it came to budget, but what they did have in spades was a lot of imagination and a great client willing to pitch in some ideas themselves.



They did a wonderful job. Plus, they even did some public service by fixing the sidewalk right in front of their hotel. That's a win-win for the neighborhood and for the hotel, I'm sure.

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