The Sunset Strip is globally recognized for its vibrant combination of signs, entertainment, and nightlife. It is a unique destination, vibrant both day and night. The Strip boasts the most exciting venue for billboards and tall-walls on the west coast. The Strip has a long tradition of innovative and memorable signage. In the 1960s and ‘70s making it “big” for musical artists meant a custom-painted billboard on Sunset Strip. The Strip continues to be one of the world’s premier sites for outdoor advertising, and the City is currently engaged in two efforts to again propel the Sunset Strip into the forefront of unique, creative outdoor media. 1) West Hollywood is seeking a design team for a pilot project on the City’s own site, and 2) the City is revising the policy that will govern billboards on Sunset Strip to support greater creativity and innovation in outdoor media.
The Sunset Boulevard Off-Site Signage Study
In 2014 the Council asked for a signage policy analysis, The Sunset Boulevard Off-Site Signage Study to adjust the Sunset Specific Plan policies regarding off-site signage on the Strip. The project includes technical studies and the development of off-site sign regulations that will improve the quality and creativity of billboards and tall walls on Sunset Boulevard. Creating an exciting visual environment and designing billboards that are good neighbors requires discussion about the number, location and quality of off-site signs. The regulations of the 1996 Sunset Boulevard Specific Plan, and recent 2016 Zoning Ordinance and Sunset Specific Plan Amendments have allowed for creative tall walls and billboards that support new technology and encourage more creativity, as well as providing additional regulations to avoid potential negative impacts. The City is considering all of these issues, and will be using implementation of the Sunset Spectacular Pilot to inform the process.
February 27, 2017 DRAFT Sunset Blvd Off-Site Signage Policy stakeholder presentation available here.
The Sunset Boulevard Spectacular
The City Council of the City of West Hollywood selected a creative team for its Sunset Strip Pilot Creative Off-Site Advertising Sign project on October 17, 2016 (link to staff report). The winning team – Orange Barrel Media/Tom Wiscombe Architecture/MOCA/Walter P. Moore – is proposing a concept for a vertically oriented, three-dimensional “West Hollywood Belltower” as shown in these images.
This one-of-a-kind, creative billboard structure will be installed at the City-owned site at 8775 Sunset Boulevard as a limited-term pilot project. This pilot project will provide the City and the community with the opportunity to lead the way for creative applications of state-of-the-art advertising along the Sunset Strip. The selected creative team has envisioned an open-air “Belltower” concept with a three-sided surface a unique layering of technology, custom advertising content, and art curated by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), creating a unique experience that integrates the community plaza with ongoing digital art displays on the open-air interior of the structure, and access to interactive features.
The Orange Barrel Media/Tom Wiscombe Architecture/MOCA/Walter P. Moore team combines uniquely qualified talents to respond to the City’s vision. Orange Barrel Media specializes in one-of-a-kind urban, large-format, outdoor advertising projects that engage the viewer. Tom Wiscombe Architecture provides a design that is rooted in the history, aesthetics, and forward-thinking nature of the Los Angeles region. MOCA, will actively support the curation of public art experiences. The concept proposes a unique site that catalyzes an innovative future for the Sunset Strip to be a visual destination that honors the creative media of both the moment and the future.
Next steps include CEQA analysis, contract negotiations and final design review including community input. Please stay in touch via this website for regular updates on the process, and opportunity for participation.
More images of the proposal below (Images courtesy of Tom Wiscombe Architecture):
The City’s pilot project on its 8775 Sunset Boulevard site will inform the broader policy for the Boulevard. In October of 2015 the City of West Hollywood issued a formal Request for Proposals for The Sunset Strip Spectacular Pilot Creative Off-Site Advertising Sign.
The City received nine applications and selected four finalist proposals that meet the vision of the RFP. Each finalist proposal expanded the idea about what a billboard site can be, bringing a unique perspective to the site, including kinetic signage, creative programming, viewer participation via social media, and site design for a multi-use public “square” as anticipated by the Sunset Boulevard Specific Plan. The four finalist teams presented their evolving concepts to the community at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers on Wednesday May 18 at 6pm. Watch it Live!
The following provides summaries of the finalist proposals:
- JCDecaux and Zaha Hadid Project Management Limited [PDF]
Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE died unexpectedly on Thursday 31st March 2016. Founder of Zaha Hadid Architects, her legacy is enduring and embedded in the design studio she created.
- Orange Barrel Media, Tom Wiscombe Architects, MoCA [PDF]
- Outfront Media, Gensler, MAK [PDF]
- TAIT Towers Inc. [PDF]
For further information or questions, please contact Sarah Lejeune, Senior Contract Planner at: email@example.com