This weekend's LA Times architecture review of the new LAPD headquarters downtown reads a little like that bitchy friend we all have who always pays you a backhanded compliment: "That top makes you look SO much thinner." Maybe critic Christopher Hawthorne is just brilliant at negging and plans on penning a must-read sequel to "The Game." All in all, Hawthorne gives the new AECOM-designed building a thumbs up, albeit a reserved one: "The headquarters is a better neighbor, and a more attractive piece of public architecture, than the preliminary designs gave us any reason to expect." Hawthorne commends the openness and usability of the public spaces, "space that might have languished as a no-man's-land of concrete and protective bollard." He's also a fan of the bronze sculptures that have irked outgoing police chief Willian Bratton. He's slightly less fond of the additional garages built for the staff, which has "managed the unfortunate trick of squeezing St. Vibiana's, so smartly restored two years ago, between giant LAPD bookends." But Hawthorne is pleased overall, so it doesn't look like he'll take to the LA Times roof in a rage of sniper fire. Lucky for him, since the building is sniper-proof.
· A neighborly new police headquarters [LA Times]