Archive for the ‘Wolf Prix’ Category

The High School that ate Los Angeles?


Is this the new Los Angeles Performing Arts High School after climate change?

Nope, today was dry and clear and the high school shone.

C-monster had posted the sea photo, responding to my visual rhymes of the high school.

CurbedLA readers said “Buck Rogers High,”

Looks like a Junior High School Trekkie designed a land base for the Enterprise.

Bad Gehry … or, rather Gehry.

i think this building achieved the impossible to look like “nothing”! it’s in a class of it’s own.

i really thought it was a water slide the first time i saw it.

Epcot center after an earthquake?

The tower and ramp remind me of a dis-assembled matchbox car track…

Battlestar Gallactica High

Looks like where Snake Plissken got released (in Escape from L.A.)

what if they connect the slide across the freeway and in to the cathedral tower?

Yes, waterslide, Magic Mountain… But the juxtaposition to Le Cathedral across the freeway is fabulous – could only happen in LA as a statement of the great divide – religion versus creativity. Yesterday versus tomorrow.


The juxtaposition with the Cathedral across the freeway is fabulous.

Remember Rock ’em Sock ’em robots?


Does it look like Wolf Prix / Coop Himmelb(l)au’s tower packs a punch?


All along the watchtower – Coop Himmelb(l)au in L.A.


C-monster says Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Los Angeles High School #9 at night

looks like

a prison watchtower.

Well, one great thing about the tower at the High School for the Visual and Performing Arts is that it’s so abstract it can be almost anything you like.

For D, it suggests

Wall-E, or a toy robot.

Sylvia Lavin of UCLA, said on the day after the election, in a public conversation with the head of the firm that designed the High School, Wolf Prix, that it reminds her of

Barack Obama.

Lavin said that in the 1960s Wolf Prix was angrier. Now he’s figured out how to still be radical but a little softer. So Prix gets to build, and yet still foment change. (His firm is designing the new European Central Bank in Frankfurt; Prix hopes to create a new symbol for Europe.) Sylvia Lavin compared Prix to Barack Obama, and Obama’s understanding of how to be an African-American man in the United States and not be angry, but rather, constructive. She said she will forever call this “the Obama Tower.” Prix smiled.

He said the room at the top of the 140 foot tower was originally meant to be rented out to generate income for the school. The L.A. Unified School District has since balked at that idea and also at Prix’s desire for the tower to hold L.E.D. signage – for advertising – to also bring in money to the school system. An artsy billboard, how L.A., don’t you think?

Signage, and certain industrial aspects of the high school remind me of the work of L.A.-based architect Thom Mayne

such as his Caltrans Headquarters, just a few blocks from the new high school. Theirs is likely a mutual influence.

And Prix has one-upped Mayne if you think the swirl around his tower stands for the number 9, since after all, this is L.A. Unified School District High School #9.

Or does this tower suggest a local vernacular-

the tower of slides at the water park?

When Coop Himmelb(l)au’s lead architect Wolf Prix spoke the other night in the auditorium/theater of the school, he rightly said that a High School for the Performing Arts could not just be boxes, and that arts students deserve a landmark, an icon.

So now, I see the tower as a West Coast


Long live the Enlightenment. From sea to shining sea.

As for the title of this post, Wolf Prix has said he learned English by listening to songs by Bob Dylan.

Of what does the tower remind you?


The L.A. arts high school, set to open next fall, will be Coop Himmelb(l)au’s second building in America, and it looks to be more interesting and better-suited to its purpose than their first US effort, a $30-million expansion of the Akron Art Museum. The cost for the five acre high school is said to be about $230 million. It will have space for some 1,600 students, many from surrounding low-income neighborhoods. The school is expensive, overbudget, delayed, and criticized for all those reasons. It stands just across a freeway from

the Rafael Moneo-designed cathedral, with its campanile, or tower. The two form a gateway as you are driving. Prix said he was told his tower could not be taller than Moneo’s. I have already said that Caltrans by Thom Mayne/Morphosis is just a few blocks away, and just a few blocks up Grand Avenue you’ll find the magnificent Disney Concert Hall by Frank Gehry. Kudos to L.A.

More fun and more images on “the High School that ate Los Angeles,” here.


The new Coop Himmelb(l)au – What is it?


Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Los Angeles High School #9.

I’ll have a lot to say on it soon.

All photo reuse credit:


The new Coop Himmelb(l)au – What is it?


Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Los Angeles High School #9.

I’ll have a lot to say on it soon.

All photo reuse credit:


Cool School in L.A.


Couldn’t figure out what the new Coop Himmelb(l)au high school still under construction

reminded me of.

Besides all the too cool for school stuff, such as

“The tower relates to the immediate context of downtown Los Angeles and the other cultural institutions within…. A spiral in the form of a #9 which revolves around the tower completes the sculpture and is an expression of the dynamic development of our society.”

But what does it really remind me of? I couldn’t remember, until I saw one here