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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Frank Gehry and Wolfgang Puck team up on new LA project

The starchitect and celebrity chef will work together to redevelop Gladstones site in Pacific Palisades
By Dennis Lynch | April 04, 2018 03:00PM

Frank Gehry’s design for a new restaurant at the Gladstones site at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades (Credit: supervisorkuehl)

Architect Frank Gehry celebrated his 89th birthday a little over a month ago. But for Gehry, age is just a number.

The Pritzker Prize winner is in the middle of a half a dozen projects around Los Angeles and has just revealed preliminary designs for another, this time in Pacific Palisades.

The Department of Beaches & Harbors has entered into exclusive negotiations with a team led by Gehry and chef Wolfgang Puck to redevelop the Gladstones restaurant site at Will Rogers State Beach. The LA County Board of Supervisors made the announcement Tuesday.

Their proposal calls for an “architecturally attractive waterfront dining destination with easy access to public transit,” according to the board. The current plan includes casual dining areas for locally sourced foods, a rooftop bar, public deck, small retailers including an ice cream shop, and a monument to Gladstones.

A model of Gehry’s initial design reflects his signature playful deconstructivist style.

Gladstones opened in 1972 and was long a favorite beach side destination for locals, but it’s seen declining sales in recent years. Its days have been numbers since 2016, when the county signaled it wanted something new for the state-owned property by the end of Gladstones lease in October 2017. At the time, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl called it “seriously deteriated and outdated.”

The Gladstones announcement comes a month after the county named Gehry lead designer on a master plan to reimagine the 51-mile long Los Angeles River. He has been on a tear lately, which isn’t a surprise — the octogenarian said in February he would “turn into a monster” if he walked away from his practice.

He was also selected last fall to turn an existing Inglewood structure into the future home of the L.A. Philharmonic youth orchestra. In January, he revealed renderings for a hotel tower in Santa Monica by developer Jeff Worthe and later that month, released a first look at Related Companies’ $1 billion mixed-use project on Grand Avenue in Downtown.

Less than a month ago, the performing arts Colburn School in Downtown announced Gehry would design an extension that would include a 1,100-seat concert hall and 700-seat studio theater.