Airbnb, the sharing economy’s cool-kid take on booking a spare room in a dusty old Victorian operated by a meddling octogenarian and her half-dozen feline companions, is throwing itself a hospitality-centric debutante ball of sorts that kicks off this coming weekend in Los Angeles.
Although the massively popular peer-to-peer travel rental platform has maintained a presence in L.A. for some time now, the San Francisco-based company hopes to further thrust itself into the spotlight with the help of “a five day hospitality experience celebrating the most interesting people, places and experiences in Los Angeles.”
Called Hello LA, the festivities are described by Airbnb’s VP of Marketing Amy Curtis-McIntyre as a “love letter to a larger-than-life city, made of eclectic, creative people across a diverse cultural and geographical landscape.”
Hello LA revolves around five celebrity-curated prefab “pop-up listings” that will be installed in highly trafficked L.A. hotspots including an outdoor shopping center, an urban farm, and, naturally, a cemetery. Los Angelenos can even enter to win, via Facebook, overnight stays in these so-called “hospitality pop-ups.” Because really, nothing says “Hello LA” like spending the night in a James Franco-designed prefab micro-home that’s plunked down in the middle of Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
The Airbnb mini-studios conceived for this splashy marketing stunt-cum-community-minded coming out party were built by green prefab manufacturer KitHaus. You might remember KitHaus from their collaboration with retailer Design Within Reach on a series of high-end Modernist garden sheds/accessory dwelling units starting at $29,500.
One of the Airbnb ADUs, a Angelica Huston-curated garden rereat located at Cook’s Garden by HGEL in Venice, features a few eco-friendly touches like off-grid batteries and translucent PV panels courtesy local architect David Hertz (he of Malibu’s 747 House fame). The “inspired” listing will be open throughout the day on September 29 as part of the Abbot Kinney Festival. Locals are invited to pop on by to “celebrate the connection between community, green building, and locally sourced food” and to check out Huston’s cashmere- and chandelier-heavy design vision (Orlando Soria served as collaborating designer). And who knows … Eva Ernst herself may even make an appearance.
Other design-savvy famous folk who were recruited to curate the pop-up Airbnb listings include architecture blogger/musician/vegan tea shop proprietor Moby (in collaboration with HGTV host Emily Henderson) whose “ambient house pop-up” will be installed at grizzled Sunset Strip nightlife staple, the Viper Room; supermodel Molly Sims (in collaboration Kelly Harris and Paige Appel) who will show off her "All-American" interior design prowess at Disney-fied retail bonanza, The Grove in the Fairfax District; and actress Lake Bell (in collaboration with Justina Blakeney) who will present a “playful extension of LA's creative spirit in the arts community” with her Airbnb pod located in Downtown L.A.'s vibrant Arts District.
And last but not least, there’s enigma-wrapped-within-an-enigma James Franco, who as mentioned, will find his tricked-out garden shed (designed in collaboration with Matthew Lanphier) installed at the historic Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Can’t miss if ... it’s one of the few structures in the vicinity that isn’t a mausoleum and the only one sporting a giant paint-by-numbers YOLO sign.
Like Angelica Huston's pop-up listing in Venice, the other four Airbnb AUDs will be home to a slew of special events — parties, concerts, public tours, celebrity appearances, design workshops, etc. — throughout the duration of the Hello LA festivities.
Via [L.A. Times]
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