16 Feb 2019
When the time came for Sydney’s Crown Group to take the big development leap into the US, there was little question who business founder Iwan Sunito would call upon — celebrated Japanese Australian architect Koichi Takada.
The pair have created architec-turally unique buildings around Australia and their vision offshore is no different.
Their planned Sky Trees tower sporting an undulating timber canopy referencing Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe’s “flying skirt” moment, in Los Angeles, is designed to resonate with the city’s celebrated street culture.
The developer and architect had previously collaborated on a series of local landmarks, with Takada designing four of Crown Group’s luxury residential apart-ment projects in Sydney.
They include the sold-out apartment development Infinity by Crown Group, with its famous looped facade, at Green Square to be finished in coming months, and the lush and tropical Waterfall by Crown Group that is nearing completion at inner city Water-
loo. A buzz also surrounds the Mastery by Crown Group, a near-by $500 million Japanese inspired community that is being designed by Takada and world-re-nowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, at Waterloo.
This background makes ex-tending the Crown-Takada partnership to Los Angeles a natural move for the groups, who share a love for innovative projects that push the envelope in the latest in building stylings and designs. Takada’s philosophy is surprisingly simple. He draws on natural life for in-spiration when designing buildings. “There is more to architecture than the creation of beautiful forms, and it must involve all of our senses,” Takada says, citing the feeling of a soft breeze, the acoustics in a cave and the ambience of natural light through a tree canopy, as what he draws upon.
“These are elements we cannot draw, but try to involve in the experience of architecture,” he says.
Crown Group wants to take this kind of vision to Los Angeles, and it has just revealed an extra-ordinary design for a 63-storey residential tower in the city’s downtown area.
The 528-apartment building, to be known as Sky Trees, would rank as one of the city’s tallest, be-hind only the 73-storey Wilshire Grand Center and US Bank Tower.
With LA’s smog an ever-pres-ent threat Crown Group and Tak-ada are pitching Sky Trees as the healthiest place to live in down-town Los Angeles.
Drawing inspiration from na-ture’s Californian Redwoods, the project features an expressive canopy that incorporates a “breathing green wall” designed to improve the city’s air quality, which would also serve as a unique landscaping feature to the streetscape.
“It is our desire through a na-ture-inspired approach to archi-tecture, to transform an old existing warehouse district into a healthy and organic neighbour-hood in LA,” Takada says.
Despite the tower’s sweeping form he is cautious about employ-ing new technologies simply to make his buildings ever taller.
“We want to humanise tall buildings, to celebrate the ped-estrian activities and consider how people experience it,” Takada says.