first off: pacific standard time presents modern architecture in l.a is up and running and certainly worth seeing, either in person or on the internetsmachine. here’s the link: pacificstandardtimepresents.org
secondly: i’m only including one picture in this update. see, i was sitting outside and i was looking across the canyon and i noticed these three houses on the opposite ridge. i see them everyday, but for some reason i was particularly struck by them today. as you can see, there’s: a 1970’s castle, a spaceship, and an odd boxy modern house painted pink. which is, all things considered, l.a architecture at it’s finest. or most random. or, subjectively, finest. oh, and did i mention that there’s a mountain in the background? and on the mountain you can find mountain lions and hikers and people riding horse’s in the middle of the city? and people still think l.a is a terrible place? a bizarre desert mountain beach suburban latino city filled with fantastically dysfunctional artists and musicians and writers? a weird sprawling city where people sit in their backyards with their dogs and go on hiking dates when they’re not at the farmers market? that sounds terrible? to whom, scrooge? dick cheney? pol pot?
oh, and people sometimes dismiss l.a for it’s sprawl, but as far as urban verbs are concerned isn’t ‘sprawl’ better than ‘sit’?
l.a might be a byzantine petri dish, but at least the things in petri dishes move around and do weird and interesting things.
i mean, technically it’s attached to a building, so it’s tangentially architecture? right?
well, maybe i just have too broad an idea of what constitutes architecture, as i’ve included pictures of clouds and lizards on this site. but i’m a college drop-out, so what do you expect? an erudite and reasoned consideration of exceptional buildings? or pictures of lizards and graffiti? how about an erudite and reasoned consideration of lizards and graffiti? and buildings, too, on occasion.
i also have a really hard time spelling words with double consonants. like: ‘occasion’. is that right? it looks like it should have 2 ‘s’s’.
so: graffiti. you have to admit, this graffiti is pretty remarkable. and it defines and establishes the space, far more than the building upon which it’s been painted. the building itself is kind of egregiously unremarkable. it’s only the graffiti that distinguishes the building from the few million other generic buildings in l.a.
i especially like the scary blue baby doll playing bongos. and the scary clown.
see, l.a is a random city. or, rather, a city of randomness. and random things. and a twisted unicorn spaghetti approach to cohesion. and because l.a is random i believe it would be odd to make any attempt to either shoe-horn or force any notions of cohesion onto it. even if involving dangling participles. like the last sentence. sorry.
now, this building. house. bunker. it’s a random house in a random setting. it’s modern and kind of brutalist and boxy. it’s also grey, with dark windows. all well and good, but it presents a whole host of questions.
like, for instance, who wants to build a grey modernist box house on a desert hillside underneath blue skies and eucalyptus trees? i’m not saying it’s a bad choice, it’s just not necessarily the first choice many people would necessarily make when confronted with a building lot on a hillside surrounded by azure skies and eucalyptus trees.
i actually like this grey box house. it’s simple and austere and utilitarian and it makes very little sense in it’s site/context, but it makes perfect contextual sense in a sprawling urban environment that’s fantastically devoid of cohesion.
i mean, a house like this could’ve been anything. it could’ve been a beige hairball (as in: coughed up by a predator). or it could’ve been a norman castle or a spanish hacienda or a mies inspired rectilinear glass box or a lautner spaceship.
it could’ve been anything. and it’s a grey assemblage of boxes and dark windows. which is great, i guess. baffling when scrutinized, but great. cohesion is for sissies.
maybe that’s a new slogan for los angeles. along with: ‘los angeles, the first city of the apocalypse.’
p.s-i’m also including a picture of a giant cross with downtown in the background. it has nothing to do with this house. except that they’re in the same neighborhood. ok, thanks again.