Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association Honors The Mansfield with Exceptional Architecture Award

Artist rendering of the final design of The Mansfield, the six story apartment complex at 5100 Wilshire Blvd. that earned the support of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association and won the new  “Sycamore Square Exceptional Architecture Award,” which will be presented at the association’s annual meeting this Sunday.

The Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association (SSNA) announced it will present the Korda Group and Plus Architects with the first-ever “Sycamore Square Exceptional Architecture Award,” in recognition of “The Mansfield,” a 138-unit mixed-use development at 5100 Wilshire Blvd., which will open later this year. The award will be presented at the neighborhood association’s annual meeting on Sunday, November 18.

“This award shows the neighborhood’s appreciation for new architecture that is compatible with our neighborhood, which has a high concentration of 1920s and 1930s houses, duplexes, and apartments. The Mansfield is proof that when developers and the community come together around a project, the result can be bquite stunning,” said SSNA President Conrad Starr.

The design of the project began in 2013, when owner/developers Aaron and Robert Korda of the Korda Group and architect Shahab Ghods of Plus Architects presented their ideas to the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association.

“In June of 2013, we met with the developer and they showed us the first rendering of the building,” Ann Eggleston, then-president of the SSNA, told the Buzz later that year. “None of us liked it – it looked like a modern hotel in Miami. We told them we know that today is no longer the decade of Art Deco, but we wanted the building to reference that era, and take elements of the Deco theme familiar to the theater and other buildings along Wilshire.”

The Korda Group, a family-owned developer of apartment buildings across Los Angeles, took the SSNA’s suggestions to heart, and worked with its architect, Shahab Ghods of Plus Architects, to redesign the building. “Besides the meetings, I personally went to over 55 homes and apartments to get input and feedback from the community,” architect Ghods told the Buzz at the time. “They were really devoted, they spent a lot of time with us, and had an architect from their neighborhood join us in our office to give input on design elements and layout.”  Plus Architects has also presented before the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council and its Land Use Committee.

The development team embraced the Art Deco heritage of the building, borrowing design motifs from the 1930s “Four Star Theater” which previously stood at the project location. Then they designed a modern interpretation for the final proposal.  Inspired by the site’s historic theatre, the developer also later announced that several photo-based murals were being installed along the interior breezeway of the new building. Ultimately, the project won the support of the SSNA.

Detail of the Art Deco styled facade of The Mansfield at 5100 Wilshire Blvd.

Upon learning of the award, Aaron Korda remarked, “The Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association has been actively involved since The Mansfield’s inception on design and construction safety. Collaborating with SSNA and our architect, we were able to design an Art Deco building that keeps alive the style of the area. We still communicate regularly with the association. We look forward to continuing our relationship with SSNA and being an integral part of the neighborhood.”

Architect Shahab Ghods added, “There is no reward more gratifying for us as the architects than to be recognized by the neighborhood and people who live around our project… SSNA members’ efforts and involvement in the embryonic stages of design was key to its success.”

The Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association is an unincorporated nonprofit neighborhood association representing property owners, renters, and business representatives located in the Los Angeles neighborhood extending from Olympic to Wilshire, La Brea to Citrus Ave. The Sycamore Square Annual Meeting and Elections will take place on November 18th, from 2-4:30 pm at The Mansfield, 5100 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

This image of the deco theater circa 1932 courtesy of California State Library.
The first design proposed by Korda Development for The Mansfield at 5100 Wilshire Blvd

 

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About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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