A prominent corner in West Hollywood now wears an architectural halo. Tasked with designing a permanent installation for The Dylan, a new apartment building at Santa Monica Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, Ball-Nogues Studio decided to create “something that would serve as a kind of gateway to West Hollywood,” according to Benjamin Ball. “Because we were going to work on this corner, we didn’t have very much real estate. We decided to think about the corner as though it was emanating a kind of supernatural force, something suggestive of some kind of metaphysical presence emanating from this banal corner of the building. Sort of like a glory that surrounds a relic’s figure in religious iconography, without the religious icon.”
Working closely with engineers Buro Happold, Ball-Nogues designed Corner Glory, a fan of mirror-polished stainless steel spikes arranged around a column of inset windows. “We looked at ways in which we could create…something that suggested aura or an energy field, or a solar flare,” said Ball. The reflective surface, its individual components lined up as the teeth of a comb, gradually dematerializes as it projects out from the building. “It doesn’t have a strong edge in spite of being a solid material,” explained Ball. Corner Glory, which was both fabricated and installed by Ball-Nogues Studio, is fully integrated with the structure of the building.
The Dylan, developed by Monarch Builders and Essex Property Trust, is joined by a second Monarch-Essex development at Fountain and La Brea called The Huxley. (The buildings were named for writers Dylan Thomas and Aldous Huxley, respectively.) Newman Garrison + Partners designed both six-story buildings, which together cost more than $150 million. The Huxley, which has 187 units, opened March 15. The Dylan, with 184 units, is expected to open this summer.