Once Ground Zero for the Depraved, LA’s Sunset Strip Is Getting a Sustainable Makeover

8850 Sunset
8850 Sunset Boulevard rendering | Courtesy

Hollywood’s Sunset Strip will be home to the latest in sustainable development with the forthcoming 8850 Sunset project, which will turn the iconic Viper Room into an eco nightclub.

After much pushback from residents, West Hollywood’s historic Sunset Strip is slated for a revamp courtesy of a new development that’s intended to give the Los Angeles neighborhood, which includes the much-loved nightclub Viper Room, a new identity, among other changes to the strip.

The project, which was first proposed in 2018 by Silver Creek Development and is being developed by architecture firm Arquitectonica, is eyeing a sustainable, ecologically sensitive location that bridges the Los Angeles nightlife scene with its ecosystem.

8850 Sunset

Totaling more than 237,000 square feet of space spread across 12 stories, the new development will embrace light and open spaces with stunning views, and an abundance of nature.

The building developers anticipate earning LEED’s Gold standard for building sustainability, which will include both passive and active strategies to reduce water and energy usage as well as the building’s environmental impact. The building façade and exterior will incorporate high-performance glass, highly insulative façades, and green roofs to minimize energy usage.

8850 sunset
8850 Sunset rendering | Courtesy

Southern California’s sunny weather affords the new structure some gains on energy savings, as well as enables a rooftop greenspace that helps to reduce energy and heat loads. The green roof also buffers for rainwater management and supports the city’s local fauna—all of Los Angeles is now a certified wildlife habitat.

The building’s landscaped roof will also reduce air and noise pollution and provide residents and guests with a quick nature escape without ever leaving the city.

Included in the 8850 Sunset project is the development of West Hollywood’s first 5-star luxury hotel, aimed at making the property a “premier destination,” according to Charles Essig, Managing Director at Silver Creek Development.

“We are delighted to bring forth this distinguished mixed-use project that pairs an unparalleled level of luxury and attention to detail with a historic location on the iconic Sunset Strip,” Essing said in a statement.

8850 Sunset Rooftop
8850 Sunset rooftop rendering | Courtesy

The location will also feature street-level cafés, restaurants, bars, retail space, and 26 permanent residences in addition to the revamped Viper Room and luxury hotel.

Bringing the project to life is the ecologically sensitive award-winning architecture firm Arquitectonica, which bridges commercial space with green space in contemporary style. Arquitectonica’s focus is on revitalizing areas with unique and memorably imagery that melds harmoniously with nature.

“The design is defined by a series of thin horizontal planes that fade into the sky. These architectural horizon lines rise from a base of ever-changing, dynamic perforated bronze panels that anchor the building to the ground.  It is the story of the Earth and the endless Pacific horizon,” said Bernardo Fort-Brescia, Co-Founder of Arquitectonica.

Most notably, though, is the revamp of the Hollywood hangout, the Viper Room, which was opened by Johnny Depp in 1993. It’s also noteworthy as the place where actor River Phoenix died in October 1993. Its update is expected to see a new public entrance, a new music venue, and a recording studio that pays tribute to its history as a legendary location. The venue will keep its signature black, grey, and green color scheme. It will also gain a larger stage and auditorium, as well as a hall of memorabilia.

Sustainability in LA

Despite California’s generally progressive stance, particularly on sustainability, it ranks sixth in the nation in LEED-certified buildings as of 2021 by square foot per capita. But it leads on total number of LEED buildings, with more than 430, according to The U.S. Green Building Council.

While West Hollywood is an incorporated city within Los Angeles County, it often meets or exceeds the efforts of Los Angeles on progressive measures. When it comes to sustainability, Los Angeles is particularly aggressive. It’s on track to meet the Paris Agreement targets by 2030 and current emissions are 24 percent below 1990 levels.

Viper Room rendering
Viper Room rendering | Courtesy

In 2020, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed L.A.’s Green New Deal into law, leading the city toward environmental protection and an inclusive economy. L.A. has been ranked the number one Solar City in America for six out of seven years with over 500 MW of local solar power installed—enough to power over 140,000 homes.

The city also has more EVs than any other city in the country. It’s working to cool vulnerable communities with the addition of shade trees, cool roofs, cool pavement, and bus shelters. It’s also the first city to apply the Singapore Index on CIties’ biodiversity, and last year it became the largest U.S. city to become a certified wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

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