Montalba Architects adds a sunken garden to the Edward Durrell Stone landmark

Montalba Architects adds a sunken garden to the Edward Durrell Stone landmark

Local studio Montalba Architects renovated American architect Edward Durrell Stone’s Perpetual Savings and Loan Bank building in Los Angeles and added a sunken garden in the building’s yard.

Built in 1961, the eight-story building, now called 9720 Wilshire, features a Romanesque facade of repeating arches and remains a Beverly Hills neighborhood landmark.

Circular bronze statue in a square
Montalba Architects has completed renovations to the Edward Durrell Stone Permanent Savings and Bank Building

Montabella Architects The renovation focused on the building’s courtyard, atrium, and basement, with a “light renovation” completed in the rest of the building’s interior.

The brief included replacing the square’s central fountain, which housed a gold-plated sculpture by an artist Harry Bertoia Before being taken out of service in 2010 due to leaks.

Edward Durrell Stone Renovation in Los Angeles by Montalba Architects
The renovation focused on the buildings plaza, basement, and lobby

The studio replaced the circular footprint of the fountain with a light well projecting into the building’s basement.

At the opening of the Well of Light, the studio placed a circular sculpture made of backward-arching bronze prongs as a nod to the building’s fa├žade and the curved fountains of the previous fountain.

A cellar entrance covered by a trellis
An illuminated well and a sunken garden replaced the circular fountain in the center of the square

Lighting and evergreen landscaping surround the sculpture to emphasize its form.

A sunken garden containing herbs and trees has been placed at the bottom of the light well to enhance passive cooling at street level and natural light in the basement.

Trees and plants enclosed in a glass cylinder in a vault
The light brings the well into the basement, which is now a gallery space

Circular glass panels, additional lighting, and a concrete bench surround the garden downstairs.

The space was renovated to include five adjoining exhibition spaces, a restroom, and a storeroom with concrete floors and painted walls.

Light well with a sunken garden of trees and herbs
The Well of Light features a sunken garden

A frameless glass structure and steel trellis have been added to the basement staircase entrance, which is located at the far end of the plaza.

A pre-existing wall running alongside the entrance and perpendicular to the facade was fitted with steel screens to encourage the growth of vines.

Oval reception desk made of fluted stone
The building’s atrium gives a nod to the building’s mid-century origins

The studio is clad in the renovated foyer with walnut paneling and terrazzo floors with bronze accents.

There is a simple oval desk of fluted stone at the center, surrounded by a semi-circle extending from the slender, rectangular foyer space.

Simple materials and shapes were chosen to represent the building’s mid-century origins.

The plaza’s solid terrazzo surface, which features a pattern of large white circles, was removed, restored, and reinstalled to its former state.

Lobby with oval office
Walnut wood, fluted stone, and bronze accents bring warmth to the interior

White concrete benches were installed along the square.

9720 Wilshire housed the Perpetual Savings and Loan Bank when it opened in 1962, but due to The institution closed in 1992now hosts Manufacturers Bank.

The last renovation of the square took place in 1992. Stone, who died in 1978, is best known for dozens of modern buildings in the United States and internationally, including the United States Embassy in New Delhi, which is currently being renovated by Wes Manfredi.

Other recent renovations to historic buildings across the United States include Gensler’s renovation of the Marchanddays Mart in Chicago and a crystal structure added to the Audubon Aquarium and Insectarium in New Orleans.

Photography courtesy Montalba Architects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *