"For an architect, designing a tourist attraction can be a thankless task," writes LA Times critic Christopher Hawthorne in review of the new Madame Tussauds on Hollywood Boulevard. Likewise, is having to review a tourist trap a thankless task or a fun assignment? Either way, Hawthorne drops some interesting details of the history of the building, done by architects Michael Rotondi and John Ash (the former co-founded firm Morphosis and was a director of the Southern California Institute of Architecture). Via the paper: "In that sense, there is something both charismatic and undeniably dated about the design, perhaps because the building, imagined originally as a spec project, has been in the works since the mid-1990s. Rotondi signed on after an earlier design for the site by architect John Ash was criticized by some property owners and others in the area. A new version, with Rotondi adding his signature approach to Ash's earlier blueprint, was published in the Times a decade ago but then sat for years on the shelf before Madame Tussauds signed on to fill the building in 2005." Who wouldn't like to see that earlier version?
· Architecture review: Madame Tussauds in Hollywood [LA Times]
· An Architect Who Plays at Work [LA Times]
· Obama, Villaraigosa Now in Hollywood, Perhaps Melting [Curbed LA]