ECHO PARK — It’s not finished yet. But the new four-story apartment building that resembles a giant cheese grater on Sunset Boulevard is shaping up to be one of the neighborhood’s most eye-catching pieces of architecture.

There’s plenty to look at from the street.  Patches of  dark orange and chartreuse are painted across walls of bright white stucco. Unpainted vertical strips of wood mask the sides of the 27-unit building. But it’s the perforated metal screen up front — made from precision-cut panels of aluminium — that’s the big attention getter.

The screen was complex enough that architect Warren Techentin was compelled to create a large, 3-dimensional model in addition to  computer-generated drawings to spot potential problems.

The approximately 101-foot-wide screen serves as a decorative element but also shields the building against the sun on the south and west sides of the building.

After being fabricated off site by the firm Arktura, the pieces of the screen were lifted into place and installed on a support system that juts out from the stucco walls. Much of the screen resembles a shiny computer punch card with rows of vertical noches. However, the screen also includes larger openings, referred to as “eyelids,” that wrap around balconies and larger windows.

The Eastsider has contacted Techentin’s firm to get more details about the screen and completion date.

Back in September 2014, Techentin got a mixed reaction from neighbors when he unveiled the design for the project known as Elysian Fields. While some praised it as “innovative” and “high quality,” others described it as “harsh” and “awful.”

Whatever your opinion about the building, it’s now part of the Echo Park landscape.

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Jesús Sanchez, Publisher

The Eastsider

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