Top 10 L.A. Architecture Stories of 2012
|HNTB MMA ACMartin|
|The proposed 6th Street Viaduct|
4. 6th Street Bridge Viaduct design proposal by HNTB, Michael Maltzan Architects and AC Martin Partners
It'll be an expensive project if it's realized, but the 6th Street Viaduct bridge design promises to engage the city on multiple levels as a piece of infrastructure that is also a public space, as an Eastside/downtown link, and as a formal monument to the transit-centric history of the city. With its wavy, Richter-scale arches swooping across the expanse of downtown's east side (in the renderings), the replacement for the existing, structurally unsound 6th Street bridge features lofty stairways giving way to views of the entire city, and an edenic garden and abundant recreation spots at its underside -- designed by Hargreaves Associates landscape architects.
3. AEG stadium smack-down
Thanks to the review and decisive recommendations set forth by the Mayor's appointed "Vision Team" panel of architects for AEG's stadium development and convention center revamp this past year, we averted an architectural crisis of bad buildings downtown (maybe). Certain chunks of the proposed design - specifically the LACOEX convention hall portion of the project, designed by Populous Architects - were even sent back to Populous for a redesign. The Vision team report's authors, including Hitoshi Abe, chairman of Architecture & Urban Design at UCLA; Scott Johnson of Johnson Fain; Joseph Coriaty, a partner at Frederick Fisher and Partner; and Paul Danna, principal at SOM, warned that LACOEX's proposed pedestrian entrance at Pico boulevard would force visitors to enter through a dark, unsafe space potentially choked with delivery truck fumes. Why isn't this call-to-action type of peer review the norm?
2. Christopher Hawthorne's Boulevards Project
The Los Angeles Times architecture critic's pitch to embark on walking treks across L.A.'s avenues and boulevards -- and then to write about it -- was, apparently, a tough sell to to the paper initially. But the exploratory nature of Hawthorne's ongoing series (he's explored the length of Sunset Blvd. from the beach to east L.A., Atlantic Blvd. from the San Gabriel Valley to Long Beach, Crenshaw Blvd. from mid-city to Palos Verdes, and Harbor Blvd. from La Habra to Costa Mesa to date) has continued to uncover latent connections between local neighborhoods, ties to industries and agencies that foster or hinder such connections, and highlight the consequences of physical, built spaces that simultaneously shape public interaction in city and re-shuffle the cultural landscape. Hawthorne's expert ability to dissect and bring to light issues at the heart of L.A.'s converging circumstances -- on its streets -- brings a greater understanding of how our interconnected urban ecosystem is evolving.
And the number one L.A. architecture story of 2012 after the break...