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CITY HALL DESIGNER LIST CUT; WESTLAKE VILLAGE TO PICK ARCHITECT FOR NEW MUNICIPAL COMPLEX.

Byline: Kevin F. Sherry Daily News Staff Writer

The list of architects competing to design and build the new City Hall-library complex has been whittled to a half dozen.

Initially, 18 firms applied to the city, but the city staff cut the list to six. The remaining firms are scheduled to present themselves to the City Council in two special meetings tonight and Thursday night.

The meetings are essentially job interviews during which architects will present their qualifications and references, and answer questions about their visions for Westlake Village.

``All of them sound very capable, at least on paper,'' said Councilman Jim Henderson.

In a May survey of every Westlake Village household, 86.9 percent of respondents voted to place the City Hall-library on 3.69 acres on two lots at the southeast corner of Agoura Road and Oak Crest Drive in the Spectrum Business Park.

The site is large enough for a 10,000-square-foot City Hall, a 10,000-square-foot library and a 2,500-square-foot chamber of commerce building.

The council must choose the firm, as well as all the architectural features of the complex, such as whether to have one building or two and how tall they would be, said Larry Wolff, principal of WLC Architects of Rancho Cucamonga.

WLC specializes in public facilities and is working on the community center for Agoura Hills and Calabasas.

Because Westlake Village contracts for many of its city services, ``the amount of space you normally have for a city hall is significantly decreased,'' Wolff said. That extra space or saved money can then be funneled into the library, he said.

Council members have been reviewing material submitted by the firms and plan to question them on a variety of topics. The library should have top-notch technical systems, but they must be open to upgrades, Henderson said.

``I want to make sure that whatever we do about the library will be viable for the next few decades,'' he said.

The design of the complex also must blend in with the three-story K-Swiss building near the site.

``We can't have a design that would clash with that,'' Henderson said.

Another architect hopes to ease the council's budgetary fears.

``The council is going to be making a difficult decision and we want them to feel comfortable about their decisions,'' said Jim Wirick, with LPA of Irvine. ``We want to eliminate the risk of budget overruns from their mind.''

In the past five years, LPA has handled $400 million in public projects, and has brought them all in on time and on budget, Wirick said. Those projects include three city halls and 10 libraries, he said.

LPA also hopes to ``tell the unique story of the environment'' of Westlake Village by recognizing the importance of design of the structures, Wirick said.

By the end of the month, the city expects to select two finalist firms, conduct final interviews and select an architect, said City Manager Ray Taylor.

The council is scheduled to interview the firms on the following schedule:

Today:

5:30 p.m. - WLC Architects of Rancho Cucamonga.

7 p.m. - CHCG Architects of Pasadena.

8:30 p.m. - Fields Devereaux of Los Angeles.

Thursday:

5:30 p.m. - 30th Street Architects of Newport Beach.

7 p.m. - Charles Walton Associates of Glendale.

8:30 p.m. - LPA of Irvine.

The council meetings are at 4373 Park Terrace Drive and are open to the public.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 7, 1998
Words:570
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