When most people visit or move to Los Angeles, they end up checking the same boxes: Hollywood, Disneyland, a handful of beaches, and if they’re unlucky Beverly Hills.
But LA is also home to a lot of cutting edge and controversial architecture, and checking out some of those buildings is a good way to begin understanding the modern city. In particular, starchitect Frank Gehry’s buildings are scattered throughout Los Angeles. Even if you don’t know Gehry’s name, you’ve probably seen his buildings; he did the famous Walt Disney Concert Hall (in the picture below), in downtown LA, as well as the the Bilbao Guggenheim, the Experience Music Project in Seattle, and many other buildings around the world.
To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Gehry’s work. I think it’s often antagonistic to the surrounding city, and his use of shiny metal, while cool in pictures, is often hostile and unpleasantly hot in real life.
Still, Gehry’s work is thought provoking, and for that reason I often take friends and family to see some of his work when they come to visit. I may not enjoy the aesthetics, but I love the intellectual challenge it poses. And like it or not, Gehry epitomizes a particular school of thought in architecture.
Luckily, the LACMA — a very worthwhile museum that is currently doing a Gehry retrospective exhibit — has complied a Google map of Gehry’s work in Los Angeles, his home city:
The various dots on the map only include project names and dates, so you’ll have to look up the buildings yourself. It also includes yet-to-be-finished projects, so double check everything before you head out to explore.
Still, the map offers a useful tool for exploring a side of Los Angeles that is intriguing, challenging, and (at least among non-architecture buffs) often under explored.
— Jim Dalrymple II