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IIpuhtic pbnnef «Kby se ldom d"",~ ~ny, hin):; like "I,'ann;n,t." wllieh C"~n be under:<I'''KI as a PC'I~I'li,'o; r..m' of projcrl;on, ~ fnrccasli nj{ ,..hkll ~ IIQ\'~ u~ 10 defi .." Ihe fmure. In f~el pl~l!ninft. "11;':11 should he Ille m"", 1"'''3c,i,''' of pfUr.:.~~i')fIs_ is in realil)" one of tile 1ll",,1 ' eaeli, e. The puhlic planner_ ~..... ddkd as he OJ she is w;lh Ihe sle"..... nbhip of sl~ nd SIal' U IO;~. ofuinanc~·s. Cd;el", anu pol;cies. "s well "S with Ihe rcv;e ... cy"lua l ion anu "nalysis of ~"lI1ntles~ permit .•• 'w ne ehan!!:e al'p!i~~Jlions, and env;rUlllllcnralrC)OJls.;S dmwnin!!: in I,apc •. Go IO:lny municipal pbnninl(a,r.;cnq and yon an >Cc the IJureauenl1ie <1113j:.m;re. T hen :I< k ~''''rr,cI '' ... ho is allcndin,r.; 10 the f!llme whi Ie Ihe p","ple Ihere al1<.:nuw prese ... i",r.; the




I 1 f I

Thi.~ stule of ·n"n·l'la nnin~: par· t e"iden! in S.,ot hc", Ca li fmn ia. can he u'J("ed W se"eroll phen"men;l. I'r"ha i.>ly Ihe ""',, impoll;.trlf uf Ihese is lhe hi~h re,r.;a.d in which intli,idlla l freed"nl. IlIi"3Ie en Hepreneur,hi", and pri,,:tte "/OI'en}" ri):.hls are held . I'uhlk 1,lanning re't"ires - if nm hy uefinilion. Ihen cellainl) by iml,Iil":II;un _eolleeti"e sub· ~·. il)ri"n w IvnK-Ierm ~n" I.• ~nd uhjC<:li,'cs Ih31 c~11 fnr Ihe ,.,rh.<Unlption nfindi" idual ri):;hts It> Ihe ~c~ l er ~,,,,tI. Il lll ihis makes public plannin~ It",k li~e ~ communistic plot 10 die nu~ hi",; ;ndi \'i': ua lisl~ of Ihe S."'lhland. A "ure ) lIblle reaCl<m fur Ihe SOil)' SIUle nf ~ffa'u in "uhl ic "I~nnin~ has been Ihe ~h;(ll\I"nmenl ofl he l,hysic.,.ll'ar.. digrn ftH Ihe 1,lan .. in): " f cities. I fo. one al"",y" a~~llIncd Iha l dcfininJ( and shapin,r.; Ihe SI,:uial I",,·~,i.,n uf hum an :1<:1; .. ity m'cr time WaS whal cil)" planning W3S I'""cipally ~bolll. 11111 today a oonn:rn rur thc I'h)·si<..",' aspeCIS uf plannin): is nOi c,ident III rn, ,,1 IIni'·ClSil),CU";eul3. l ,,slead. we tum n, 'I " 'holc rc!!:imenls of $OCial planncrs, h"" .• ;nA pbnners. cc..",om;c planners. ed\J~"­ linlll,bnne '" aud 1I0n'l'ulla,ion planners. There :U~ sl il! some planner:< ",h" aCfl>al!)' I'Ia~ in an aeli"e sen~e. While p"htil" Ill anncrs m in i." "r t" the paS!, their brelhrcn fmrn the p. ivalc corhllhill)! "renaS mini,,,-,r In Ihe future. IJnfolll rn alciy. Ihe future Ihey Cf 'lll'e rn 11":11I."" ...;s wi t h is Ihe flllllle oflheir sl'e";ah ie'. T hu.•. t he Imn.slKlfl alion pbnllcrs Call lell us all ahmu Ifip "e lleralion. traffic ",Iumes. andlhc effc(:1 of funlle land uses on Ihe frecwaysySlems. So. too. the hous;n.r;:plan-




• 1


Los Angeles, the ultimaTe postwar city. can be likened 10 an equipotential fiek!: anything is more or less possible anywhere. 'Cu""n' !, ,,.;..~.,," One comes to lei:ll , therefore, that ~sdivtlfsity of opporlunili&s and resources ale secretly cached wi thin its vasl grid and I,",,,,~ 10)' \l i<h.d (; ... ·c, thai the tun is in breaking the code. There is a lear thai attempts 10 irT"4lQS9 structure on this seemingly sell -regulated chaos ~~~~;~'~~l:.! would destroy the essential charactef 01 the city. 1,c<"1I11C b~, Knnin): E,~.cnl""1: ,llChil~""s Yet, because of an ever increasing population. lhe need to increase oonsity andlor consolidate uses .nd l h,id Kelkn be<:omes mandatory. Coupled with the tact thai Ihe distances between wol1<., home. and shopping continue 10 grow under 1.11 F."uon 'OUt There I)'Nnl( 11: II I" currenl zoning regu lations, Iranslormalion 01 the city is Inevitable. The challenge is to define and preserve the unique l.-<du", s"",,, "Suh,.,.. "", f,.,. \"~i.,,, "",.• ~7<1II ........."1 IIIHI . • ~\ positive qualities 01 Los Angeles in the lace 01 this change. Both our res;denlial and commercial sueets are lined with an amazing array 01 building types, each CALENDAR asserting its pWlOtypicality. 11 is this ju~taposition 01 urban hagrnef1ts and the resulting tension between various implied I!t II <).\(>..'1~11 r.. 1e'C""'."» FE8fIU,\IIY ' 2. 7:30,.., hJIUfes thai gives Los Angeles its lace· and can coocievably allow new ifltetvetltions witholJt a loss 01 soul. I.,",,,,,,· ",.J ,,,,,I",b.~,,,, The following critique will a ttempt to look beyond style and analyze pr010Cts which consolidate uses <;( :I·,\KC II,;n "I ...." within a single comple~. Two eritllfia lorm the basis lor judgement: one. how well the intensiheation ot uses focuses actIVity f EBRU ~RY14.'"", on. and thereby urbanizes, the street and two, whether the project acknowledges the heterogeneous and accreliOnal Leclure h)" narv I'a,):e o"d Wu~"er • II ehb character 01 the city. I ,A I" ~n;rn "( )", Therc l ) II: II I' I .,·,·",,~ s",;." ·S"I"",;,". I, .. '''''h''~«,,'~' Th e Beyerly Connection H'III S,,,,,,,,r IIt.·d. I ~\ Designed by Lomax Roc/<. The Beverly Connection is siTuaTed on La Cienega between Beverly Blvd. and Thild S treet. 1!1.11'I1f">.Y.U7~" ,n"".,""" f EeIlUAII, II. 7:)0"", across the s treet from the behemoth Beverly Centor. It is a city blodl·sized project comprising the renovat>on and l .c"·""c·Io)·.~",, Ibk .. f modifi cation of several ex isti ng buildings and the construction 01 seve ral new s tructu res linking the se lormerly St:I·AtlC ~ f .in SI"'" independent buildi ngs into a mega·complex. The resu lt is a perimeter of closely·spaced pavilions that lace beth Ihe Slreel FEBRUARY 21. 8 "", and Ihe inte rior 01 the block. " I\c-.:~," \\"",k' The Beverly Connection can be imagil"l8d as a ·Iried egg · scheme. wilh direct conne ctions belween 1...... ",'" I", ~r.... k 'i,."""in ICI .';'. t'c,. ,rrlltl! its interior co re and the adjacent streets. TM project is e~cepT>ona l lor Its Impachon ot the parking and Ralph's FEB RU ~ R Y22. ' "", supermarket in the middle of the blOCk. Other grOlJnd floor shops face both street and interior. Second lloor shops are "".,i,,,,,,, 1>0.:,,)«> i" A",hi'~<""c" located along an internal mall . whiCh also has a direct conll(lction to the streel. albeit up a long, grand s tair. Both A n.",so.:: an ,he f"'kl"ncm.1 d'''....'~'''"';." .0,{ ,·."I"I,ukc ,Jc,,~" in ''''h;lc~'''''C pedestrian passage and vehicular access ara detailed as a continu ation 01 tha slleet into tha block's interior. maintaining I >O':1 .... "n~'" "f II ... hin.~·'''h: the sense thai the stores lace the public lealm. The lace 01 the parking structure is activated with the movement 01 people (:'1 I ''''r I ', ....... (1 I ~llloo,y..lffl~ f, .. '"~i""' ••, ,"fi.",,,~,,, using a variety 01 vertical circulaTiofI pieces. The strUCTure 01 the buildings. whether CQn(:rete or Sleel, is e~posed aNI fEB RU,AfI' :tot. 25. U;~1ICtI J . .... _ . 5 "'" infilled with appropriate materials. A sophistiCaled language 01 elements is the resull. and the interiorspace 01 thecomple. I ....... h ) lIl,kc. ,\" has a real presence due 10 their scale and rhythm. It is unlortunate , however, that the Ralph's market has no windows ~"d K,I\\' Ar"'rilcn"re lacing this space. I.A "" ~rum "()UI The.e I)uin,r.: II: Ill" I ....·'u'" "., ..c .... ,,"'.. ,.'" f<Jf At':h;,cc,~",' While this compIe~ somewhal successluUy inverts Ihe typiCal shopping mall lor The benefit or the street, ~7'1II .... " ••:t lil-.ll ~\ its urbanistic strategy could be Slreoglheoed rn several respeclS. The comple~ remains introverted and one wishes Chat UI II '!Jt,.'!.~11 r. .. "'''',........, FEBRUAAY K. 7:30"", stronger links coukl have been maM badl to !he smallef-scaled Thiod Slfeet and Beverly Boulevard sidewalks. Also,!he I .....:r,,'" h) I'~,c, Wil",., intensificalion 01 activity along a regional thoroughlare such as La Ciooega would bette! complement !he locally orienled St: :1·.111(: ,\ ..,in ~1'3<" shops aJong Third Street. Nevertheless, and even granting that some of the decorative elements are a little overwrought, nlJlUART 21•• pm this project comes close to leeling kke an e.'ension 01 !he city. ~n", 1...... ,)«> "fl ...J\."

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Venice Renaissance ~ ~ l ibt9 & ParIIItt$ The city of Los Angeles is in Ihe proooss of amending zoning lequirem6f1ts to encourage mixed·use development in some areas of the city. In exchange lor the provision 01 some modelale to low income housing. developers will get a bteak on the number or parking spaces to be provided and also be allowed an increase in densily.Even without taking advantage 01 Ihese incentives, the Venice Renaissance project by Johannes Van Tilberg and Partners provides adense mi~ecI·use development with low-Io' moderale income seniOr Ciliz8f"l$' housing, while ,orovk'jn9par.ki1l9 spaces beyond the CW"reol reQUirements. Located on Main Street 1)9tween Rose Avenue and Navy Slte et In Venice. Venice Renaissance comprises loul floors of housing above a podium containing 33,500 square reet 01 lelarltacing Mam ~treel With public parking behind. Residents' parking 15 below grade. The OoosIng consists 01 IwQ componenis: 22 senior citizens' un~s along Maio Streel and 67 condominiums facing the ocean and overlooking common gardens built on top at ttle publiC podium. The fAA. is 2:1 (not including parkillg). The block is btoken into five buildings along Main Stroot. al which points are provided direcl access to public par!<;ing and residential!obbies. Unfortunately. evidence of these r8$idenlia l entries is indicated only by signs and in-house telephones. The lobbies themseh<es ale obviOl.lsty not IOf entry Of lor Ioungiog . the frOill door lor the housing is really located in the parking garage below. The transition beTWeen housiog aNI street is something less than ceremon>ous a nd suggests the ciladel mental ily that underlies the happy Mediterranean e xtelior . (Nole Iha l the carpeting on the s tairs stops a l the second 1I00r and gives way to e xposed steel· as iflhe residents a ren't really expecled to make the tran s ition Irom apartme nt to streel on loot. ) The upshot Is that allhough the uses are stacked they are not really integrated. On the other hand, the Main edge 01 the comple~ is truly gene rous. A continuous arcade runs lenglh 01the s lreel and large open retail spaces lace on to it. The co lumn spacing and groin vaults give the long passage rhythm and liMUfli HiS/or, 1.1_ If"Id Ml!dil los ~ AIls Pltl: scale. However, a distinction can and should be drawn beTWeen the IJodgMs <I: flJfl9 relevance 01 Mediterranean or classical elements such as arcades,

" .'0·'" windows. and plaster walls. and the appliCation of more

lileral claSSiCal details. The releotlessly smooth walls could be more appropriately scaled by variatioos in color, texture, and panaro. rather than the use 01 classical column capilals. It should be added that lor all its urban po-etensions. tal and long wesl wall to its smaller neighbors at lhe interior 01 However, in aJllaimess, ~ must be said tha t the architect has cleverly lought the tendencies 01 this kind 0\ density to completefy overwhelm

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.. ....


Ben Caffey

One 01 Ihe glories 01 Los Angeles is supposed to be its lack 01 cente r. ils diffused production 01 a mu liitude 01 culiural artifacts. What is olien lackiog in this vilal stale 01 anarchy is communication. debale. and discuss>on. Now the re is a polenlial loca l point lor such a debate, a physical lranslation 01 the very nOlion 01 a "!orum." Jon Jerde has donaled his 10rmer otlices In Silver Lake at 2798 Sunset Boulevard to a group O'~"·,.o'm concerned abel>! architecture and urban design. The space will become the headquarters 101 as many at these groups as wish to participate. The main !wQ·story room will serve as the location lor the regular events of these groups and will accomodate exhibitiOns as well . Thus Ihe building. nicknamed "the substalion· by Tim Vreeland, wiH become a swilching· slation lor !he ongoing. but ciillused . diSCUSSion 01 architecture in Los Angeles. The mosl tangible producl 01 the Substatioo will be the '"SubIettel." This joilll venture between UOAC {the Urban Design Advisory Coalition and the othel' major participant in the Substation}, UCLA, USC and SCI-ARC (the Forum ties not yet committed) w~1 consist 01 a monthly calendar of all events and opportunities lhal may be 01 Inter8Sl to membe.s 01 these lour groups. Included .win be ijstings 01 lectures, symposia. exhibitiofls, but also competitions, public hearings and Olher opportunilies for involvement with lhe developmenl 01 urban form in Los Angeles. Ea ch 01 the participating groups will also conlribute news items lrom their organization . The forum will be trying it1e Substation oul by holding ilS Spring '"O.It There, Doing It" series in the space. Young des~ners who have opened Ihei. own ol/ices will show their work on live consecutive Monday evenings february 5 . Ma rch 5. Craig HodgeItS and Ming Fungwill Slart 011 the series. On the lollowing Mondays . we will see thewo rkof David

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~. f inancial Officer. Tile f orum would like to open nominations for the Board to aU members. Please tet one 01 Ihe eurrent Board members know ~ you are interested. This also applies to the Pub· 1: ...... "" .

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alt!JdWdde !kI1 ~:QP 8Se3Id ~pe WRJO.:I ~ II! • .:f!1*I 01 paIiulolua 8111 SJaQWart 'Sale! pa:x1p3l111 ~3!IqOtI

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Michael Pitras

Duchampian dudes missing waves Inuulgeml.· minin): some nOlioo of Surrealism come' Ihc: eUllcm ~ho\\" allhc Gallery of Func, ion al Afi. Thi s chatlering baza"r of Ihe ub"ious and ulle~""'<.:lcU hcrds tu,r.;elhc. a PUllX'Itffi uflhe lelC'," ~nulhe i .. lcrnational. I'm all for mulrilarer:tlism, f". iU\"luling the ,"her I(uy's terrilory. bUllhe premise (if rhelc i~ n .. c:) nflhis dUllcr both dcpe .. d.\ on ~nd i, uefearetl hy profes.;onal eale):.Oriz,niuns. A({isiS launchinl( inlo fu.nil(lre is eenainly nOi ne"' · Ihe: rneWolliths "fthe 1~le S<:Ol1 llullun and Fujie's fan-like L"Uncucl;ons for .\ Iak; are e~el1l[ll3ry. HUI f", Mch'lcclS 10 allempl to man(lf~("I.ure furnilure which i, also All sccms In mc 10 Ihrealen an unholy mcn~e-a·"ois. sink;njl; them inlO ~ >;cmifllic 'Iuagmire. T hc absence from the a.llcndJ nhny mass-pnw.lueliun ~lr~IC)~~ ;s less puzzling rn Ih i, en"ironment of the suhurb<ln ubjel trou,"; Ihan c,'cn the him of a ShalCd nt3llifeslU. Whal brings Ihesc 311;fac1S lO.Il.ether is nor an 311ilUde 10 cu lture bUI the ehmzll:lh nf Ihe nrf:aniurs. Fe\\" nf Ihe offerings im'eSIigalc the nrdinary. imprm'C nur 1~'n,"lnn Inl. Where. for example, "ould Ihe French he "ilhnul Ihcir DClIX Che"~llx or Ihe Iialian s withoul Ihose lell;! Wearing my Salone del .\ Iobilc hal - perh~I's an UI~ ngc h.,ehall c~p of Ihe ",,([ f,,"ored by La r ~ Lcnrp - it's clear Ihal man\" of Ih~ s~ pieces lIa\"c nOI. ~s the im'itation implies, he",n crealcd specially for th~ show. \\";lnCSS n:W"hl)" ;';il:cI\ ehceky sl,,,,1 • "hame Ihal Ihe punters were burcd fwm siltin,r.; on thc Ihinlotr LelUp's o\\"n ~oll1rihuri«n i~ a hyb rid of Adirnndack and Rien'e ld depicted Ih rollgh a Lissilzky nOiation oflhc latlpnle-to·Sapiens I)"pe. The aelllal allifaci s~e:ms Ic:ss important Ih;l" Ihe graphic pnJCcs, bUI e.~udes Ihal friendline.' " sh ared hy all rnon.ll.reh. Lns' pal ,,"olfsleals Ihc ~ho" ,,'ilh his \ 'ina Spcei~1 Euiliuu tlyin~ 3n"chai •. Ihc lr3dil;Ona l l~alhcr cuht: reprcsemeu and nun):. OUI on an ;ndusuial blue I-he",,,. 'rh~ e<)neept ueri\"e .• e<'herem ly from H;mmelblall'., ".;n,",e hili. as< said of .\tanhallan. il should be much bilt.lle. - hUfllin):.lht: s;ltcr dynamically across the fOorn . Ofllle locals. Richard LUlldqui<l's IlCamifullah1clOp could eXll<lndand fold in spalially mo.c sed uCI;\'e "''''·S. whereas -'Ioss's musclcd fl1lme of timh.:r and metal aWl'its some unspecified r;tual . the ~bs<:ncc of a disscct;On perhaps. Yes, it's ,,"underfullo hJ"e a forum for the exhihition of artifJCIS hUI. 3\·,..;uin.l: a (;ulu· tx:r,er r.p of ' on the one hand i,'s ,r.;ood. on Ihe mhcr hand il's tud ' . whal "nnoys me aOOm Ihis c:l.r3'"llnscflli is i(s imrospeclion, its "'hiff of ",impel~·. ils in"bilitr 10 SIlAAC.<I heyond ,Isc! f ellhe. ililo Ihc cconomK:1 of indllurializa--=.- _A....,~ ~ Instead. chc<:k out the akhem;al boudoif$ of noris Sipck - stecped in the comexts of his n~" .. e Bnhcm'~: Ihe politico_mJte'iat prOf'O'ition s of I'esce; tile Sydney sUlf culmrc of ~l3rc Newson. ~~,",in,r.; soo" If' Di '7.,n: ~nd ineyitably alllhat sllIfffor rhe blond E"er,'man 311he USC Study shu".

.... _ . . . )...... ......

Raymund Ryan

A Call for Entries

The UCLA Archilecture Journalinvites entrieS lor an e~hibit enljtled 'S iteWorks: Investigalions of Spaces In·Batween". An e~h i bit of entries will be held at UCLA's Graduate School 01 Archileclu" and Urban Planning Ma y 18June 8, 1990. A selection of the work wi ll be lealured in the 1990 UCLA

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Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates IS a !inalist in the Culvf!f City ..... RCH' .Z3 City Hall competition, along wiltl CHCG and WoIlILanglChrislo· ' 1'1." S... "I""". by LoA A" ..", phar. Winners of the invited competition 10 design the 80.000 s.t. ()">II""",,, ,\rc ~"f"!' COffHfUWG TttIIOtJOH IlARCtt ' 0 "Mission Revivar {per client's edic1} City Hall ·cum· parking garage ·pnni. K",'ncl~ ,' should be announced in March. Si'.·>I",,·i(,,· ... >rIo, ".. ~;"h inc<>rf><l"', ....... Coolrary to newspaper reports. the U.S . Pavilion at <",,'empl.,c ,he hi-,torr'owI culeul< 01 c;)(;h in,utt .. ;,.,.ne "92 has not been cancelled. Funding from the federal governmenl ,\I()(:'\ .. <.:.. Iif,,,,, .. PI".. CONTINUING T H IIOlIGI1 M~ IICH I I has been slow in coming. bul Barton Myers Associates is now proceeding with Schematic Design. -]<>ton lI.kk...,;" \1()( ~\., ehe Tern"....!) ('.,..'<m"......,· )1 has been reported lt1 at SOM. A.C. Martin. Cesar Pelti. M~RCH 'a · JUNE '7 I. M. Psi, and MurphylJahnhave been invited to submit proposals to Donald Tl\lmp for the tallest building in Ihe world. to be located on lhe site of the Ambassador Hotel on Wi lshire Boulevard. The lirst Power 01 Place installalion has been I.mve iled. The Biddy Mason wall. designed by Sheila deBretleville in a yet· lo-be-completed park designed by Burton & Spitz, is localed in the cou rt of the new parking galage on Spring Strtlet between 3 rc;! !Inc;! 41h Sl ree!s. Avitel Romel. the lady in the pillbox hal (see Newsleller No.9). has prodlJOed the lirst post·structuralist telecommunications directory . The Te'epho/18 Book. Adeie Santos has beetl selected as the new dean 01 the architecture school at UCSO.





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Kris Miller


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Architecture Journal,




scheduled to be published in June. 1990. For additional lnlOf' matiofl, call 825-3791 or write 10: The Edilors , UCLA Architecture Jour. nal , Graduate ScIloot of Architecture and Urban Planning, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024. The deadline lor the In~ial sub· mission is 3/15190 and 3/31f9() lor the final wor!<;.

Members Miscellaneous

GrJI Cow. Fl. -

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Kellen, Blake . Au, Ra w Archileclure, Gary Paige, Wagner+ Webb. KoningEizenbergand

The Forum is applying lor9ra nt monies in order 10 be able to organi~e exhibitions in the substation. Proposals under discussion include invitiog hall a dozen forum members to create installations about Los Angeles. and working wilh Bill MorriSh to organize an exhibition abel>! the forms of the water and POW8\" syslems 01Southern California. The Subslation and the Subletter a re !he fllSt Slep towards a more Iocused discussion at architectural issues in Los Angeles. Other ideas 011 how to use this space are more than welcome. On another note. the new forum olficers for the coming year 8fe: Aaron BelSky. Presidenl; MiCheIeSaee, Secretary; and AnnZoIIin-

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Shopping becomes an obsession 101 many in the days belore Christmas. but lOf several members of the the foftJm itwas the scene 01 the so-called crime /lither than the acl itseil that hel<l the lascinal>On. Though design may be a repressed manner 01 acquisition. the polenlial to redesign Ihat behemolh of inlernalized public space, the Beverly Center. promised liberation from Ihe plastic tIonds 01 commerCialism into a realm of greater public dignity. Last November, In the offices 01 the original designe r 01 it1al Cenler. Elletbe Beckel Associates. four design teams oUered tn ree diffe rent versions of such a posl·co nsumerist paradise. Lynn BaISch a nd Kevin O 'Brien of Ie red the most conclete alternati ve 10 Ihe enigma~c, lurd-like mass ollhe shopping mall. Through an analysis 01 Los Angeles lorms. they cone:lude d that types have been developed fOI everything Irom Ireeway oll ·ramps to corner malls, bUI nOllor parking. The storage 01 cars remains completely subordinate to the build ings 01 which il is part. In the case of the Beverly Cooler. parlled cars merely serve to prop up the rarefied $hopping sphere above . Describing their entry as an investLiiatiOn into the ritual of parki"'iil, BalschlO'Brien produced a prototype for a series 01 kinetic parking structures 10 be located on sites around the Coolef (and . nol confining themsel\les to the site al hand. ultimalely throughoul Ihe Cily). These parking machines would lurn in carousels and oUer consumers a moviog panorama of !he city for theil delectation while creating a mobile display 01 automotive design (an art much further developed, as Corbo already knew. than architecture ) 10 the city beyond. Norman MilIa. and Sheihf Klein thought in somewhat more grandiose lemlS. They wanted to marry the isolationisl Canter back 10 lhe rejected city wilh a gigantic wedding band 01 ramps encircling the Cetlter. These rings would COIltain The pony riOe once on sile, transportation links with luture maSS transit. and yet another chance to e.temalize the e~perience 01being lilted up Irom the moving miasma 01 the urban semi-grid into !he planned world above. The rings Sprouled their own megastructural answers to such pressing urban problems as housing and entertain· ment. The precious s tone in lhis new urban setting consisted 01 a tower 01 indeterminale function. an Angeleno Eiffe' broadcast ing the surroundi"'iil civic achieve· menl Irom out of its s ite between Ihe mute blocks of the hospital and the shopping center. This condensed archileclural poi nt lound ilS counterpoint In a new urban void created between the Beverly Ca nter and ilS a.chileclural counterpart, the Pacilic Design Cen ler. The whole scheme oltered solid a nd void, point and counterpoint swirling around on the TWisting loops of a melaphorical hori~ontal Fellis wheel binding together Ihe radically chaolic lendencies of OUI ulban fOlm. Both Michele Saee and Michael Sorkin eschewed such consumable responses in lavar 01 mOfe abstract medil«tions on the current Incomprehensibility 01 the Beverl~ Cen tel. Sorkin mailed in a series 01 xero. collages lhat lormed a lairy tale· ~ke narralive proposing !he cre at>on 01 outdoor urban spaceS. neighborhood centers, and other formal a"efations in the texture 01 the area in order to weave the isolated bulk 01 the Cetlter badl into the city. Saee took a stanoo e~actly opposite to soc:h optimistic ameliorative planning. Despairing at the hubris of alchitects who think thaI their actionS have anything to do with the development 01 an urban rea~ty goVilfned by commercial interests. Saee refused 10 8V8(l propose an architectural solution that might be consumed in Ihis posl·architectural arena. He instead presented a series 01 plywood and ~erox collages. developmetlts 01 previous investigations into the urban lorm 01 Los Angeles. He lhen relused to discuss how their compos~iofIs. hidden meanings. or mere presence in the room mighl torm some allernetive to the reality or the Beverly Cetlter. This aggressive non-communication 01 course elic~ed the most violent leac1ion 01 the meetiog, causing some to question Saee's sincerity, while others agreed with lhe archilect thatlhe whole project was wrongheaded itsell. a prodUCT 01 consumer'd/ivan Westside myopia. The debate did bring to lile the essential problem posed by the Bever1y Center. namely ils unquest>onabla reality, a realily Ihat had deleated belh the eUorts a! the architect who designed Ihe bu ilding and Ihe efforts 01 most critics and is now spread ing its mega loma niac shadows in the shapa 01 a host 01 other shopping ma lls. hotels and mixed-used developme nts rising up around it. The que sl>on ultimalely laised by the whole "33D6E6" Ploject then revolves around whether a rchilecture is useless as a conscious critical investigation 01 the city, and lherelore whether archilecture can only affirm a slatus quo set by others. or whether oloor lorms 01 resistance may be lound within the architectural discipline.

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Newsletter, February 1990  

A City Transformed, Ben Caffey, Public Planning: The Physical Paradigm, Michael Pittas, Shopping for the Beverly Center, Aaron Betsky, Ducha...

Newsletter, February 1990  

A City Transformed, Ben Caffey, Public Planning: The Physical Paradigm, Michael Pittas, Shopping for the Beverly Center, Aaron Betsky, Ducha...