Los Angeles architecture: the contemporary condition

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Phaidon Press, 1993 - Architecture - 231 pages
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The architecture of Los Angeles seems at first sight to be chaotic - individualism being its only rationale. Los Angeles Architecture: The Contemporary Condition looks beneath the seductive surface to find out why the city's architectural scene is so fascinating.
Supported by stunning photography, James Steele considers the historic and geographic elements which are an important part of local sensibilities and weaves them into a narrative about the complex design activity now taking place in the city.
Beginning with the pioneering characters of the American Arts and Crafts movement, James Steele traces Los Angeles' architectural energy through the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolph Schindler to arrive at the buildings of Frank Gehry who is widely acknowledged as a peerless interpreter of his surroundings. This analysis expands to investigate the work of those who have followed Gehry's lead, from the avant-garde institutions such as Sci-Arc, to those who are attempting to complete the Los Angeles myth by at last giving it a downtown. Steele's rigorous examination of Los Angeles' contemporary condition looks at issues as well as influences, providing a timely portrait of a city often said to represent the urban typology of the future.

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Los Angeles architecture: the contemporary condition

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Inspired by the unique culture of the City of Los Angeles, Steele ( Hellenistic Architecture in Asia Minor , LJ 7/93) makes a valiant effort to capture the spirit of this conglomeration of freeways ... Read full review


Confronting Autopia
The Style that Nearly revisited
Los Angeles and its Discontents

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About the author (1993)

Steele is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

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