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Yamashiro-Magic Castle Hotel | Hollywood, CA

Objective
What is exhibited in this book is intended to begin the discussion about what is possible qualitatively and quantitatively. This is a planning study intended to determine the optimum densities. The massing diagrams do not represent an architectural aesthetic. Design specificity will emerge in the next phases. The strategic planning objectives were to distribute in space and time, densities of building, people, activities, and vehicles providing the least amount of site coverage to allow maximum useable open space.


Monument In The City
YAMASHIRO and the MAGIC CASTLE are cultural and geographical landmarks in Los Angeles. They are a part of the cities identity. To some degree, historical structures embody the memory of the city’s story. As the ‘world’ around us changes, there needs to be places of reference like these to provide a longer-term perspective. As businesses, they offer unparalleled social amenities to visitors and guests.

Their history, architectural personality, and geographic location, have an iconic status in Hollywood. YAMASHIRO in particular, is one of two epicenters for tourists and locals in Hollywood. The other epicenter is Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where people come to recollect the mixture of the real and fictional history of the city’s film culture. People visit YAMASHIRO to experience the ‘long view’ over the city.

CONSERVATION AND CHANGE
The two icons on The Hill should be the gemstones embedded in a necklace. They will remain, as will their uses serving as the two centerpieces of the new development. The views towards them form the city below and of the city from above will remain. Yamashiro will be restored, modernized, with additions of adjacent verandahs and gardens. Greater value will be added while maintaining the natural assets.


Vital Attraction
The Hill attracts many people. Many come for the outstanding view of Los Angeles. Some walk through the gardens, which are more limited than they once were. Most come to Yamashiro and the Magic Castle for fine dining, entertainment, and celebration. The property also attracts those who come to stay at one of the two hotels. Overall, the Hill has a variety of attractions, but is challenged by limited access. An issue we plan to address in development.

GARDENS
The gardens will be expanded into a continuous network of pathways and vegetation. They will weave in between proposed new buildings, arranged to facilitate accessible open space. The gardens will be an amenity for guests and citizens to use for passive recreation.


Intensify Use w/o Congestion
The Yamashiro hilltop will plan to intensify usage. This proposal presents a conceptual blueprint for intensified use without congestion. Currently, the main venues are Yamashiro Restaurant and Magic Castle Club. Adjacent to each are two 3-star hotels. Based on the Topography, visitors enter and exit solely by motorized vehicle.

DESTINATION: HOSPITALITY AND RESORT
High-end hospitality will be the program overall. New horizontal buildings, terraced on the hillside, will be massed to fit the natural angle of incline. They will also be the armature for gardens, plants, and pathways creating a network on the hill, which connects the hilltop tranquility to the city below. The proposed uses exist on the same trajectory as the present uses – hospitality, restaurant, cafes, banquet/ballroom, performance, hotels, spa, and gardens will be the program. The plan distributes the activity strategically establishing several ‘social centers’, each with a varying duration of stay to distribute.