Thursday, April 22, 2010

Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies

For my Core class last year, I read a book entitled Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies by Reyner Banham. It discusses the uniqueness and beauty of Los Angeles as a city from a perspective that really appreciates it while addressing the issue that Los Angeles’s beauty as a city is usually disregarded. The most memorable and persuasive part for me was where Banham discusses the aesthetics of Los Angeles freeways. I had always thought about them as an eyesore on the city. It was fascinating to hear a perspective that discusses them as something that in fact adds to the beauty of the area. Banham shows aerial shots of the freeways that emphasize the abstract shapes of the architecture and beautiful shots of them at sunset that forces the viewer to see them in a new light. The book also discusses the diversity of architecture in varying areas of Los Angeles, but the part of the book that struck me the must was the discussion of the freeways.

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