Cherokee Mixed-Use Lofts

Cherokee Mixed-Use Lofts is an urban infill, mixed-use, market-rate housing project. The building is inspired by the series of paintings by the British artist Patrick Hughes titled, Perspectivity, whose paintings appear to be ever changing and physically moving while being viewed. At Cherokee the main architectural feature of this project is the buildings owner-controlled operable double faade system. By allowing the occupant to adjust, at will, the operable screens of the building faade, the facade is virtually redesigned live from within the space, reflecting the occupants of the building within, in real time. The screens also enhance the existing streetscape and promote a lively pedestrian environment. By visually breaking up the faade into smaller articulated moving elements, the building appears to move with the passing cars and people. In effect, it becomes a live canvas to be painted upon daily or more often. Like many features of the building, the faade is multivalent and rich with meaning performing several roles for formal, functional and experiential effect.

The perforated anodized aluminum panels of the building creates an ever- changing screen that sparkles in the sun and glows at night, while simultaneously providing shade to cool the building, reducing noise, enhancing privacy, and still allowing for spectacular views, great natural light and ventilation from ocean breezes which pass through its millions of perforations even when all panels are closed. The material reappears as a strategic arrangement of screens on the east, west and south-facing walls, lending a subtle rhythm to the exterior circulation. South-facing screen walls filter direct sunlight that lends unexpected visual depth while creating a sense of security for the occupants. Enhancing the structures geometric texture, the irregular array of moveable openings variably extrudes from the buildings surface. Its unique architectural form and integrated function creates a high-performing building that is an expression of the people who live there and the environmental and cultural context in which it is built.

Cherokee is the first LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum pending Certified building in Hollywood and is the first LEED Platinum Certified mixed-use or market rate multi-family building in Southern California. The building distinguishes itself from most conventionally developed projects in that it incorporates energy efficient measures that exceed standard practice, optimize building performance, and ensure reduced energy use during all phases of construction and occupancy. The planning and design of Cherokee Lofts emerged from close consideration and employment of passive design strategies. These strategies include: locating and orienting the building to control solar cooling loads; shaping and orienting the building for exposure to prevailing winds; shaping the building to induce buoyancy for natural ventilation; designing windows to maximize day lighting; shading south facing windows and minimizing west-facing glazing; designing windows to maximize natural ventilation; utilizing low flow fixtures and storm water management; shaping and planning the interior to enhance daylight and natural air flow distribution. These passive strategies alone make this building more than 40 more efficient than California Title 24 and a conventionally designed similar structure.

The development pays homage to the significant musical and Hollywood history of Cherokee Recording Studios, MGM Studios before it, and all the artists who recorded music on the site, from Frank Sinatra to David Bowie to Dave Matthews.

Building Basics

Cherokee Lofts consists of 12 market-rate lofts and 2800 square feet of retail space. The building is 5 stories including 1 underground level of parking, first floor retail and parking, three floors of lofts on floors 2 through 4 and a rooftop deck and green roof.

The lofts units range in size from 1,000 square feet to 2,000 square feet. Seven of the lofts are two-story town homes perched 30 to 50 feet above street level. The living space consists of a state of the art kitchen, great room, bathroom, and home recording studio or office on the 4th floor, 38 feet above street level to maximize city skyline views, daylight, and energy efficiency. Three of the lofts have 17-foot high ceilings with mezzanines and open to a lushly landscaped courtyard. Finally, two loft flats have 10-foot high ceilings, also opening to the landscaped courtyard.

The building is located at 751 N. Fairfax, just north of Melrose right around the corner from the increasingly popular Melrose Heights Fashion District. It also borders West Hollywood and is mile from the center of the Sunset Strip.

Sustainable Highlights

Cherokee is 40 more energy efficient than Californias Title 24, the most demanding energy code in the United States.

Advanced VFR Cooling and Heating Comfort System, which was used in Canadas new 2010 Olympic Village, cools and warms floors, ceilings, and walls to create a perfectly temperate environment better for respiratory systems, skin, overall health, comfort and energy efficiency.

Passive solar design strategies and proper building orientation, using the central courtyard between the two residential structures, allows for day lighting on both sides of every unit and shading, while allowing prevailing breezes to fully pass through the units for natural ventilation.

Green Roof provides greenery for occupants to enjoy while keeping the building better insulated, cleaning the air, and reducing storm water runoff.

Water Conservation is accomplished with dual flush toilets, efficient plumbing fixtures, hot water circulators, and drought tolerate landscaping. All stormwater runoff is collected in a underground retention basin located in the public right-of-way, the first such stormwater system in the city of Los Angeles.

A 30kw PV solar system powers all common area electrical loads and approximately 11.5 of the heating and hot water needs for the building.

The building is located within walking distance to many neighborhood community needs and services and scores Walkers Paradise 94 out of 100 on

Green Materials and Products are used throughout that are recycled, renewable, and contain low or no VOCs.

Environmental Aspects
The front facade is designed with a series of perforated aluminum screens that filter early morning light into the front units on the east and protect the west units from the setting sun. The building is oriented to capture prevailing breezes and to filter sunlight through a large southeast facing, 4-story perforated galvanized screen to the interior courtyard. Most of the units have windows on opposite perimeter walls to allow natural cross ventilation. Low flow fixtures are used throughout. R21 blown-in natural cellulose insulation was used in walls and R30 in roof. No VOC paints and finishes, recycled content materials and 100 FSC certified wood products were used. 80 of combined C D materials were recycled. A green roof and storm water catch basin located in the public right-of-way captures and treats all of the rainwater that falls on the site.

The result is a careful balance of passive solar design and mechanical comfort systems.

The building is certified LEED Platinum by the United States Green Building Council USGBC.

Permanent mixed-use market-rate housing
Cherokee Lofts consists of 12 condominium lofts and 2800 square feet of retail space. The building is 5 stories including 1 underground level of parking, first floor retail and parking, three floors of lofts on floors 2 through 4 and a rooftop deck and green roof.

Lessons Learned
Through rigorous dialogue with the client, a clear vision emerged that included an expanded facility for higher density and mixed-use, a regenerative approach to the landscape, and a desire to meet the Living Building Challenge.
The pioneering nature of this project has left the team with many lessons from the design and construction process. Many are the result of pursuing the Living Building Challenge and many others are products of the nature of the structure. A new lesson for this project was the complexity of finding materials that not only were not on the red list but also met radius and responsible industry requirements and were affordable for the client.
Our approach was an intuitive, scientific, and experiential process. Concepts were modeled using scientific tools to measure comfort, energy, daylighting and other metrics. The team collaborated and relied upon the findings of the modeling to develop an integrated, high-performance design for the building and site. One example was using the building facade as a tempering element to improve comfort and reduce mechanical systems.
Due to very efficient building envelope, the electrical design load was reduced. Building envelope consists of: R21 batt insulation in the walls and R30 in the roof, along with double-glazed windows with a lowE coating. Shading is provided for the building and the courtyard space by the perforated screens and building shape. All units are designed with windows on opposite walls to induce natural cross-ventilation. In addition to the passive design, the unique heating and cooling system is a high tech variable refrigerant flow VRF system that effectively acts as a heat pump to move heat and cool from one part of the building to another. As a result, heating and cooling loads are reduced by nearly 50. A 30kw PV solar system provides 11.5 of the buildings energy needs.

All light fixtures are compact fluorescent in the units and exterior walkways and exterior lights are on timers. Fluorescent tubes were also used in the ground floor and parking garage. Individual units have energy star refrigerators and dishwashers.

Data Sources Reliability
Simulation software
Energy Pro4.3 by Energysoft for Title 24 report.

The analytical results have not been checked yet due to recent completion.

Solar Cooling Loads
Use light-colored exterior walls and courtyards, green living roof and cool roof.
Cantilevered walkways and perforated dual faade designed to shade the building.
Shade south and west windows with deep balconies, southeast with perforated screen and northeast with perforated metal dual skin faade. Building is shaped to provide shading.

Non-Solar Cooling Loads
Provide void space in building volume, towards prevailing breeze, to enhance airflow and shading of the courtyard and through the project.
Reduce internal heat gains by improving daylighting and appliance efficiency.

Lighting Controls
Use timers for all exterior lights and motion sensors throughout.

Energy star refrigerators and dishwashers by Bosch. All appliances are energy star.

Materials Resources
Major materials were selected with a recycled content: carpet with 25 post consumer content, recycled-content gypsum board with 31 recycled content 26 post consumer waste, concrete with 25 minimum fly ash content and building insulation with minimum 20 recycled glass cullet and formaldehyde-free. All paints selected were no VOC. Interior floor finishes are exposed concrete slab sealed or FSC certified wood. Where painting was required, a high-quality prime and paint system was specified.

Finishes were minimized throughout: Concrete slabs were left exposed where possible and the exterior stucco finish has an integral pigment in lieu of a paint finish. The exterior metal screens are aluminum with an anodized color, which will never require painting or refinishing.

Diversion of Construction Demolition Waste
The overall combined recycling percentage was 80. The contractor used a waste hauler company to pick up co-mingled waste and provide a report detailing the amount of waste that went to the landfill vs. the amount of waste that got diverted by material wood, cardboard, metal, carpet, residual, greenwaste, concrete, other and mixed inert.

Green Products Used
Coal Fly Ash
Recycled-Content, Formaldehyde-Free Insulation Batts by Johns Manville
Natural blown-in cellulose insulation
Recycled-Content Gypsum Board
No VOC paints by AFM Safecoat
Storm water catchbasin and filter system Stormwater360, by Contech, Inc.
FSC certified Composite wood products by Weyerhaeuser, John Mansville and others.
Cabinets inside the units were constructed of formaldehyde free and FSC certified woods.
Low flow dual flush toilets and faucets with aerators.
Variable refrigerant flow HVAC system by Mitsubishi common use for entire building
Electric car charging port for every unit
20 kw PV system by Kyocera
Energy star refrigerators and dishwashers by Bosch
High efficiency Elevator by KONE uses same amount of power as a hair dryer-30 amps
LED lighting

Protection of Global Ecosystem
Avoid rigid or blown foam insulation made with an HCFC blowing agent
Minimize ozone-depletion potential of refrigerants in cooling systems

Design for Materials Use Reduction
Use materials with integral finish

Job Site Recycling
Seek a waste hauler who can separate recyclables out of commingled waste
Facilitate recycling by avoiding materials with toxic components

Recycling by Occupants
Design a physical in-house recycling system

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Manufacturer
Use concrete with fly ash replacing a portion of the cement

Resource-Efficient and Materials
Use engineered FSC certified wood products for rough and finish carpentry
Use insulation with recycled content

Transportation of Materials
Prefer materials that are sourced and manufactured within the local area

Indoor Environment
One of the teams primary objectives was to enhance the quality of living for each resident by surpassing standards found in conventional housing projects. All units have abundant natural light, cross-ventilation and the building was designed to take advantage of the prevailing breezes to keep air circulating through the project.

Environmental air quality was addressed by following AQMD Southcoast Air Quality Mangement District and Greenseal requirements for finishes and by minimizing finishes: concrete slabs were left exposed where possible and an integral color was provided in the exterior stucco finish, thereby eliminating the need for painting of the exterior of the building.

No- VOC paints, sealants and coatings were used by AFM Safecoat.

Thermal Comfort
Use glazing with a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
Design for optimum cross ventilation through window placement.

Visual Comfort and Light Sources
Use electronic ballasts with fluorescent lighting.
Provide abundant natural light.

Reduction of Indoor Pollutants
Use only very low or no-VOC paints
Use formaldehyde free batt insulation.

Visual Comfort and Interior Design
Select only white to midrange finishes to maximize reflectance of light.

It is possible to visit this project Cherokee is located at 751 N, Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, California.


Project Type


751 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, California, 90046,