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What looks like a giant cheese grater is Echo Park’s newest apartment building

ECHO PARK — It’s not finished yet. But the new four-story apartment building that resembles a giant cheese grater on Sunset Boulevard is shaping up to be one of the neighborhood’s most eye-catching pieces of architecture.

There’s plenty to look at from the street.  Patches of  dark orange and chartreuse are painted across walls of bright white stucco. Unpainted vertical strips of wood mask the sides of the 27-unit building. But it’s the perforated metal screen up front — made from precision-cut panels of aluminium — that’s the big attention getter.

The screen was complex enough that architect Warren Techentin was compelled to create a large, 3-dimensional model in addition to  computer-generated drawings to spot potential problems.


The approximately 101-foot-wide screen serves as a decorative element but also shields the building against the sun on the south and west sides of the building.

After being fabricated off site by the firm Arktura, the pieces of the screen were lifted into place and installed on a support system that juts out from the stucco walls. Much of the screen resembles a shiny computer punch card with rows of vertical noches. However, the screen also includes larger openings, referred to as “eyelids,” that wrap around balconies and larger windows.

The Eastsider has contacted Techentin’s firm to get more details about the screen and completion date.

Back in September 2014, Techentin got a mixed reaction from neighbors when he unveiled the design for the project known as Elysian Fields. While some praised it as “innovative” and “high quality,” others described it as “harsh” and “awful.”

Whatever your opinion about the building, it’s now part of the Echo Park landscape.

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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Jesús Sanchez, Publisher
The Eastsider

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26 comments

  1. cheap assed run of the mill stucco box, but with an aluminum grill! blech, NOT a new idea.

  2. I like! The dynamic facade for the curved section of Sunset Blvd really livens up this section of Echo Park.

  3. Sh*t is fugly. Already looks dated. Early 2000s gross.

  4. Yeah butt ugly, almost feels 90s. I get that it’s meant to keep the sun off of the building but that aluminum is going to be 250 degrees in the summer, will be nice to have that convection heating on your balcony.

    • Aluminum is a terrible conductor.. that’s why we use it for foil. You can bake a potato for 30 minutes at 450, and touch the foil almost immediately after retrieving it from the oven.

      • Don’t tell Charlie – musta never took a basic high school Sci class

      • This is not true. Aluminum is a very good heat conductor – out of common metals, only copper is better. Iron, steel, stainless steel, nickel, and brass are much worse. (Posting links slows appearance of comments, but google: thermal conductivity of metals.) This is why it’s common to make cookware out of aluminum.

        Your intuitive justification regarding foil confuses thermal conductivity – how fast does heat flow – with heat capacity – how much heat is stored in the material. Because the foil contains very little actual material (e.g., by weight), it stores little heat. That small amount of mass contains little energy, so transferring it to your skin causes little heating.

        Thought experiment: would it be wise to pick up a hot aluminum saucepan?

  5. It probably makes the people within feel like they’re in a cardboard box with airholes punched in it. Won’t it draw a ton of extra heat from direct sunlight in the summer? Any word on what these places are going to cost to rent? I’m guessing $3k for a one bedroom that gets described as a “creative loft” even though it’s a normal one level apartment.

  6. Love it. So ugly it is awesome!

  7. Get out your uggs, trucker hats, and juicy track suits. It’s time to party like it’s 2004!

  8. Supernintendo Chalmers

    I too will comment on something I have no control over. Phew relieved to get that off my chest.

  9. wow. i didn’t think any building in Echo Park was going to look worse than the ugly green metal and glass loft space at Sunset and Alvarado — where Crossfit Sunset is
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sunset+Blvd+%26+N+Alvarado+St,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90026/@34.0773349,-118.2636782,3a,75y,140.06h,100.03t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sgVe1e-TnUqPZozEi2Gcv3w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c2c71a105709a7:0xa8cc12339face757!8m2!3d34.0776249!4d-118.263474

    but this might take the cake!

    i’m sure all the neighbors and people driving past it when the sun is hitting it will just LOVE the glare.

    echo park is not getting the best of LA architecture right now…

    (ps: small typo in paragraph #7, “praied” should be “praised”)

    • Someone from Eagle Rock (One of the plainest neighborhoods in all of LA) complaining about Echo Park architecture? Now THAT’S funny.

      • Someone discounting a person’s opinion based on where they live, without contributing a cogent thought? Now THAT’S pointless.

        Thank you “real” monty for your wonderful contribution to this conversation!

    • Yeah I didn’t piece of garbage on Sunset and Alvarado win an award for the worst faux verdigris finish on the planet?

  10. Wow, no they didn’t! How the heck is the LAFD, going to bust threw the walls of this ugly establishment. I mean that they are gonna have to use the jaws of life to open up a hole, or something. By that time, it’s gonna be a roast fest. How can that building be up to code with building and safety? Ugly eye sore, and a hazardous domain waiting to erupt…

  11. Frikkin’ ugly. They can take it out of their portfolio when it goes out of style in, like, a year. But we’re stuck looking at it for decades.

    These people have no taste. Barbie Doll pink, and black? Holy Mother of God…

  12. That building looks so out of place and is a real eyesore

  13. Love it! So many haters – crawl back to your stucco boxes. You’re like L.A.’s version of Archie Bunker. Eye-popping architecture is what this neighborhood needs.

    • This building has no place with its beautiful surroundings. It is so disgraceful that LA city officials, so desperate to keep up with housing needs in the county, would not at least require this building to blend in with the gorgeous neighborhood around it. This building looks cheap and cheesy, and, unfortunately, rubs off negatively on an otherwise awesome street and community.

  14. cheese grater indeed LMFAOOOOO

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