The Beverly Hills Civic Center is a wildly ambitious, yet flawed, project that one imagines would never be built in today’s environment of hard-nosed spreadsheets. Betraying Charles Moore’s signature theatricality, it is packed with idiosyncratic and mannerist architectural expressions, and draws more inspiration from Rome’s Baroque period than the more obvious local traditions of Spanish Revival or City Beautiful movements.
State Senate Bill (SB) 827 would densify housing along transit; Alan Loomis explains the debate for the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design.
St Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades is one of the more prominent projects in Charles Moore’s oeuvre, perhaps more as an illustration of his inclusive and interactive community-based design process than for its architectural form. However, St Matthew’s confidently expresses more architectural ideas and a larger urban presence than its suburban location would suggest.
We have attempted in our work in Glendale, to quote the legendary planner Edmund Bacon, “to develop design principles capable of influencing future action. We have endeavored to establish a design idea of such potency that it welds the work of individual architects designing in fragmented areas into a cohesive whole.”
Plaza Las Fuentes, located just east of City Hall, is one of the more under-appreciated works of architecture in Pasadena. Its 360-room hotel and adjacent office tower slip into the Civic Center quietly with a comfortable grace. Much of this comfort – which is architectural but also tactile – is derived from a masterful site plan, organized around public courtyards, gardens, fountains, terraces, arcades, and lobbies.
In the spirit of the recent “Never Built” or “UnBuilt” exhibits and publications, a look back at some the more interesting projects that didn’t happen during my eleven year tenure as Glendale’s chief urban designer.
Charles Moore’s 1990 Civic Center is a delightful discovery in sleepy Oceanside California. Located at the center of town, Moore’s Irving Gill-inspired buildings surround a great plaza and fountain.