Rendering: Togawa Smith Martin

Since the first renderings of the Taix restaurant redevelopment plan were revealed in May, the proposed design has been harshly criticized by Twitter users and attendees of Zoom meetings hosted by the Echo Park Neighborhood Council. 

Architect and board member Louis Molina called it “completely ordinary,” while @alisonmartino referred to the original plans as “snap together IKEA towers.” Developer Holland Partner Group has responded to the public outcry by releasing an updated design proposal for the mixed-use project, now referred to as Taix on Sunset in supporting documents.

Rendering: Togawa Smith Martin

The latest iteration is similar in scope, containing two, five- and six-story buildings with 170 apartments and 13,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, including a smaller version of the iconic French restaurant. Twenty-four affordable units would be reserved for very low-income households and 220 subterranean parking spaces would be provided.

Rendering: Togawa Smith Martin

However, the aesthetic of the reimagined project is more traditional, incorporating wrought iron balcony railings and pickets, gray brick and painted stucco siding, and arched, factory-style storefront windows. Breezeways would connect the two structures and a curved bridge would define the entryway to the public paseo containing outdoor seating for Taix diners.

Rendering: Togawa Smith Martin

Architecture firm Togawa Smith Martin is behind both versions of Taix on Sunset. The plans also offered a closer look at the planned resident amenities, which would include a ground-floor lobby and indoor common area, plus a sixth-floor terrace with an outdoor kitchen, bar, TV, fire pit, dining tables, built-in seating and an adjacent indoor lounge. The seventh-floor rooftop area would house a swimming pool, cabana, lounge furniture and an outdoor shower. 

Rendering: Togawa Smith Martin

In addition to Taix, there would be three other commercial spaces with compact footprints. Murals would enliven several walls of the development, notably the southwest elevation and the northeast side of the courtyard. Taix’s recognizable bar top, mirrors and signage would be preserved as well.

Rendering: Togawa Smith Martin

According to The Eastsider, the Togawa Smith Martin team surveyed the Echo Park neighborhood this summer in search of 20th-century design inspiration for the project. In late September, an effort was made to designate the Taix restaurant building as a Historic-Cultural Monument, creating hurdles for the site’s redevelopment if the nomination is approved.

Rendering: Togawa Smith Martin

The restaurant’s owner, Mike Taix, sold the property to Holland Partner Group in July 2019. He has repeatedly cited the business’ dwindling patronage and profits as reasons for downsizing. Taix moved to its current location at 1911 Sunset Boulevard in 1962, but the family-owned restaurant dates back to 1927.

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