IAC Sunset

IAC Sunset

Los Angeles, CA

Award Winner
Rana Creek Design

Project Team

Build: Alexander Ramey, Rana Creek Design
Contract Grow Manager: Marta Kephart, Rana Creek Design
Design: Blake Jopling, Rana Creek Design; Matt Yurus, Rana Creek Design; Brent Jacobsen, Rios Clementi Hale; Sebastian Salvado, Rios Clementi Hale; Naseema Asif, Rios Clementi Hale

Beyond Adornment - IAC's Living Wall in the Arid Urban Environment of Los Angeles

Draping 11,000 plants over an existing six-story building, Rana Creek and Rios Clemente Hale Studios created a living wall to revitalize the IAC Headquarters in Hollywood, CA. Suspended at an angle from the building face, the living wall grows along the structure, transitioning from vertical to horizontal, forming a dramatic canopy at the building entrance.

Seeking to create a new urban ecology, the living wall provides a breath of fresh air for pedestrians on the iconic Sunset Strip, and creates habitat opportunities and other resources for regional birds and pollinators. With an understanding of how essential it was to create meaningful links to the local ecology, the planting design prioritized species native to Southern California which can be found in the hills and canyons of Los Angeles.

Vertical troughs are attached to a white brick façade at their highest point and protrude as much as 14' feet at the second floor, creating a garden awning. The grid structure allows light to stream through, while the lines of the lattice create shade down below.

Located in an area of Los Angeles that was once wetland, the building had regular flooding issues in its subterranean garage. As a result of utilizing this resource for irrigation, zero potable water is used and roughly 100,000 gallons are saved per year.

Judges praised this project for its striking visuals, and prominence in a highly visible setting. They also praised the project for having overcome a variety of technical and environmental challenges in designing this project.

Hedgegate House

Hedgegate House

Sea Ranch, CA

Award Winner
AE Design

Project Team

Architectural Photographer: Jonnu Singleton
Growing Media Supplier: Joe DiNorscia, Rooflite
Owner/Architect/Construction Manager:Janet MacKinnon, AE Design
Rainwater/Graywater Systems and Green Roof & Irrigation: Kevin Heston, AE Design
Stormwater, Graywater, and Living Roof Design: Paul Kephart, Rana Creek Design
Structural Engineer
: Ivan Lee Welte, I.L. Welte & Associates

By raising the native meadow to a living roof, Hedgegate softens the foreground and preserves the public view of the California Coastal National Monument
— Janet MacKinnon, AE Design

A Biophilic Residence Along the Pacific

Hedgegate is located on the west side of California Highway 1 on the scenic, north Sonoma coast. From the highway, the view to the Pacific Ocean and the California Coastal National Monument is protected by legislation to preserve this natural wonder for public appreciation. The protective legislation placed significant controls on the design of Hedgegate. The structure was limited to 1300 square feet and the height limited to 16 feet above above the coastal meadow. The limited conditioned space interdigitates with protected outdoor spaces and the ready access to the exterior on both the ground floor and upper (main) level encourage outdoor living.

William Browning’s work on the 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design provides a vocabulary to discuss the design architects intuitive integration of “spatial configurations in Nature commingled with patterns of Nature in the Space and Natural Analogues.”

The Hedgegate design provides abundant visual connection with Nature as well as non-visual connections: the sound of surf, the bark of seals, the caw of crows and seagulls, the call of California quail and the smell of grasses and salt air. The sounds of flowing water from the rain room provide the analogue to a native stream. The unimpeded view of the Pacific Ocean and shoreline whitewater yield a prospect both stimulating and inviting. In contrast, the back corner of the rain room, its green walls and flowing water create refuge from the circulation of the household and natural elements. The view from this back corner expands to a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean providing the mystery and anticipation of more beyond the refuge. Entering and exiting Hedgegate stimulate the senses with variable airflow and temperatures. The numerous angles, skylights and open roofs provide changing conditions of light and shadow. The native plants lifted to the roofs reflect the local coastal meadow. As one climbs the stairs into Hedgegate, more of the living roof becomes visible, then the green wall appears, and finally when the top of the stairs, the view opens and one looks down, from the safety of solid footing, 15 feet into lush vegetation and flowing water of the rain room. A slight turn of the head to the left, and the first glimpse of the oceanic views draws one further into the living space with the promise of more.

Built during a severe 5 year drought, it was important to maximize use of all available water. The rainwater/stormwater from the roof, retaining wall, rain room, and driveway, is collected for irrigation of the living roof and graywater is collected for irrigation of the ground landscaping. The judges praised this project for its integration both into the site’s ecology, as well as the region’s broader cultural goals.