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Architecture Critic Hawthorne Slams LA Live

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It'll be published in the paper tomorrow, but here it is: Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne's take on LA Live, that sprawling downtown megadevelopment. Has Hawthorne ever sounded so impassioned or angry? Wow. It's not even architecture, he says. (Was anyone ever calling it that?) More takeaways:
--"...the project is relentlessly focused on creating its own wholly separate commercial universe: a brighter, more strategically frenzied place than the world outside its doors."
--"When you get right down to it, their architecture is fundamentally not really architecture at all but an extensive series of armatures on which the developer and its tenants can hang logos, video screens and a sophisticated range of lighting effects."
--"For decades, we have largely built the city with a kind of all-or-nothing zeal, pouring money and architecture into stand-alone projects of increasingly massive scale and failing to coax developers to knit them into their neighborhoods with any real care."
--And the really depressing part: "The implications of the L.A. Live model for the future of the city are broader than they might appear. It's not simply that AEG has given Los Angeles another outdoor mall, in this case a good deal bigger and flashier than the average one. When we trap the energy of an urban crowd inside this sort of self-contained world, and when we allow developers and their architects to heighten the differences between that world and the streets around it so dramatically, we help keep the rest of our blocks underused and, as pieces of the city, undernourished." Go, Hawthorne, go!
· Architecture Review: L.A. Live [LA Times]


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