Architecture City Guide: Los Angeles
The project of the school for visual and performance art School #9 in central Los Angeles is made by architects from the Austrian studio Coop Himmelb(l)au. The complex, inaugurated a year ago, comprises seven building of steel blocks with different shapes – a cone for a library, a pyramid for a grand lobby and a spiral tower for a theatre. Four buildings, accommodating rooms for 1,800 students, are designed so as to encircle a round central yard.
The core concept of the authors is the use of architectural elements, which will serve as symbols provoking communication between public and art. Resembling chess figures three of the buildings re-define the otherwise orthogonal arrangement of the master plan. The tower with a spiralling ramp in the shape of the number 9 symbolizes art and is a sign of identification for the students.
Wolf Prix, one of the architects,explains how important identity is “If I asked a student, “Can you describe your school? Where do you go to school?” He’d say, “The school with the crazy tower and the round windows,” not,“just a building downtown.”And that’s enough for me.”