Thanks to Curbed LA for pointing out what I keep hearing about the architecture, architect and design work that brought us AEG's LA Live complex near Staples Center: despite the unintentionally humorous PR spin from the mayor and other politicians that this is a “public square,” LA Live is hideously ugly. It's a classic example of bad design.
Stack it up next to another equally anti-L.A. structure also touted by City Hall politicians, in a past decade, as a new “public square” for Angelenos: Pershing Square. Pershing Square Virus is spreading, and the result is LA Live.
Pershing Square Virus is also engulfing that 16-acre “Civic Park” jammed with concrete and “sponsorship” areas stretching from City Hall to Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The “Civic Park” will uproot hundreds of irreplaceable exotic trees and rare plants now on the site. It will offer almost no areas for people to sit down for a simple picnic or stretch out with a book.
But at least the Civic Park design disaster from Rios Clementi has not yet been built (it's proponents have created a “rendering” using impossibly tall trees that could never actually exist in L.A. to obsure the fields of cement that are on the way. You can see the dishonest “rendering” here.)
Along these same lines is LA Live. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about. What is wrong with Los Angeles?
I guess we should blame billionaire Phil Anschutz for the 1980s neon at LA Live. The hideous giant graphics. The ill-fitting, boxy, looming buildings that scream Moscow circa 1979. The way the architect and designers refused to accept that they were in L.A., whose inhabitants love Spanish and Moorish and Hollywood glitzy and beauty — but rightly hate inaccessible chunk structures that look like Targets on Red Bull.
So thanks, Curbed LA! Somebody is speaking up.