Pro Portfolio: Brooks + Scarpa’s mixed-use Cherokee lofts

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Brooks + Scarpa Architects’ mixed-use Cherokee loft development is the latest installment of Pro Portfolio. The feature, posted every Monday, looks at a recently built, remodeled or redecorated home with commentary from the designer.

Project: Cherokee lofts.

Location: Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles


Architects: Brooks + Scarpa Architects(formerly Pugh + Scarpa Architects). Structural engineering: BPA Group. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing: Cobalt Engineering. Environmental consultant: Albert Bicol, Cobalt, and Greg Reitz, ReThink. Façade consultant: CR Laurence Co. General contractor: JT Builders. Landscape: FormLA.

Designer’s description: The dynamic façade of the Cherokee mixed-use lofts project is inspired by “Perspectivity,” a series of paintings by the British artist Patrick Hughes. In the series, the paintings appear to be ever changing and physically moving while being viewed. The perforated anodized aluminum panels of the building facades are owner-controlled, allowing the occupant to adjust operable screens that reduce noise, enhance privacy and provide shading while still allowing for spectacular views and natural light and ventilation. The façade is virtually redesigned from within the space, in real time, which in turn promotes a lively streetscape. The façade becomes a live canvas, painted upon daily, moving with the passing cars and people.

These perforated panels not only are beautiful and functional, but also contribute to the building’s sustainable features. Cherokee is the first LEED platinum (pending certification) building in the Hollywood area and is the first LEED platinum mixed-use or market rate multifamily building in Southern California. To see inside, keep reading ...

The dynamic facade allows for individuality. Tenants can open and close the perforated metal panels depending on their need for privacy or shading.
The courtyard of Cherokee is one level above the street. By creating a courtyard at the center of the lot, cross-ventilation breezes can cool each unit, reducing the need for air conditioning. This strategy also increases the amount of natural light each unit receives.

The main exterior building material is integral-color plaster. The planter above the doors is faced in steel. The stairways and balconies are painted steel with wire mesh railings. The windows are anodized aluminum.

This balcony sits at the rear of a west-facing unit. Every unit at Cherokee has a private outdoor space. The metal panels filter the light, reducing glare and heat gain.

The interior finishes of each unit are unique, created by a different interior designer.

All units have the living areas on the top floor and bedrooms below, so the best views can be seen by all.

The layout of each unit is efficient, with built-in elements set to one side, leaving room for circulation on the other. This allows for ample cross-ventilation and natural light to reach the ends of the unit. There is a small recording studio behind the wall of the kitchen.

The graphics of the kitchen backsplash tiles came from skateboard decks.

The Cherokee name pays homage to Cherokee Recording Studios (MGM Studios before that), which used to operate on the site. Artists who recorded here included Frank Sinatra, David Bowie and Dave Matthews.

-- Compiled by Lisa Boone

Pro Portfolio appears on this blog every Monday. Submit projects to


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Photo credits: John Edward Linden and Tara Wujcik