Why Downtown Los Angeles’s Architecture Is So Diverse | Walking Tour | Architectural Digest | Summary and Q&A

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July 5, 2023
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Why Downtown Los Angeles’s Architecture Is So Diverse | Walking Tour | Architectural Digest

TL;DR

Explore the architectural wonders of downtown Los Angeles, including City Hall, The Broad Museum, Eastern Columbia Building, Central High School, Union Station, La Placita, and the Million Dollar Theater.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What makes Los Angeles City Hall unique in terms of its design?

Los Angeles City Hall, designed by John Parkinson, stands 454 feet tall and features a mix of architectural styles such as Art Deco and Greek Revival. The exterior is clad in California Granite and Gray terracotta tile. The design incorporates sand from all 58 counties of California and water from the 21 original Spanish missions.

Q: How did the seismic renovation of City Hall improve its safety?

The seismic renovation of Los Angeles City Hall, which took place between 1998 and 2001, made it the tallest base isolated structure in the world. This means that it can withstand earthquakes up to 8.1 on the Richter scale, making it much safer for occupants.

Q: What is the concept behind The Broad Museum's design?

The Broad Museum, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, features the concept of the veil and the vault. The exterior, made of glass fiber reinforced concrete panels, controls natural light, protecting the artwork inside. The veil also acts as a shield and frames the ground floor lobby.

Q: How does the design of Central High School represent the arts?

Central High School, designed by Austrian architects Coop Himmelb(l)au, represents the arts through its deconstructivist design. The lobby features angular forms and disconcertant shapes, while the fly tower is used to change backdrops in the performing arts theater. The building provides a state-of-the-art high school for performing arts students.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Downtown Los Angeles is a mecca for architects, allowing for inventive and creative building designs that can't be found elsewhere.

  • Los Angeles City Hall, designed by John Parkinson, was built with 28 stories even though the city government only needed four floors at the time. It features a unique blend of architectural styles and symbolic gestures.

  • The Broad Museum, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, showcases the concept of the veil and the vault, controlling natural light and protecting the artwork. It also features a public plaza.

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