Norman Foster’s Firm Designs A Billion-Dollar Office Tower For Sunset Boulevard

Celebrated architect Norman Foster has unveiled plans for a new $1-billion office tower in Los Angeles that will see greenery spilling out from a series of terraces spiraling up its facade.

The eye-catching proposal, which was formally submitted to city planning authorities this week, will transform a two-acre site on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard into a 22-story entertainment industry workplace dubbed The Star.

Digital impressions of the high-rise, released by the British architect’s firm Foster + Partners on Wednesday, show elevated gardens bursting with plants and trees, as well as outdoor decks and modern office space.

A digital rendering shows an outdoor deck with views over the Hollywood Hills and the landmark Hollywood sign.

In a statement, Foster described it as a “true reflection of the workplace of the future, nurturing community, wellbeing and collaboration.”

Comprised largely of offices and billed as “a modern landmark,” The Star will house entertainment firms and “Hollywood’s top content creators,” said Foster + Partners. Current plans include production space, a gallery, a screening theater, a rooftop restaurant and “community gathering spaces” at ground level.

The proposal, which is set across 525,000 square feet of floor space, replaces an earlier plan for the site unveiled in 2019. Designed by MAD Architects, the Chinese firm behind the curvilinear Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (which is set to open in LA next year), the original circular design featured a funicular railway wrapping around the exterior.

The scheme was reportedly set to cost $500 million, half the price of the new proposal. Asked why the tower’s developer, Maggie Gong Miracle, abandoned the original plan, a spokesperson for the project told CNN that Foster’s new design — which is the same height, but thinner than the previous proposal — was intended to be an “asset to the community” that “respected the views” enjoyed by those living in the Hollywood Hills, which overlook the site.

An aerial view of the terraces set to spiral up through the 22-story tower.

The announcement comes as LA’s real estate market struggles to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hollywood writers strikes and the growth of remote and hybrid working. More than a quarter of the city’s office space — rising to almost 30% in downtown LA — is currently vacant, according to the latest data from property brokerage Savills.

Should the city greenlight the proposal, construction on The Star will start by early 2026 and complete in 2029.

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