April 20, 2005
Related Companies has decided to drop
Morphosis from their Grand Avenue development team. According
to Bill Witte, Principal of The Related Companies of California,
the Santa Monica design firm led by 2005 Pritzker Prize winner,
Thom Mayne, has a different design vocabulary than what
the Related team is trying to do with the project.
The Grand Avenue housing and retail development is estimated
to cost $1.2 billion dollars and include approximately 3.2
million square feet in a key cultural and civic area of downtown.
The Related Companies was awarded the exclusive right
to negotiate agreement in August 2004.
The first phase of the project has been a public outreach
program in which the team, city officials and stakeholders
have met in a number of Los Angeles communities to discuss
the development. It was after spending time reviewing initial
concepts, as well as comments from public and team meetings
that Related came to the conclusion that Morphosis wasnt
the appropriate fit for them.
Not every architect is right for every project,
says Witte, adding, but we are pleased for Thom, for
winning the Prizker Prize.
Witte says alternate options include Frank Gehry and landscape
architect, Laurie Olin. However, according to the office of
Olin Partners, Laurie Olin and Frank Gehry are currently acting
as independent consultants on the project. Phone calls to
Gehrys office were not returned.