Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

On the edge of the downtown Los Angeles, in a string of cultural venues on Grand Avenue, the Dorothy Chandler pavilion made a nucleus of the quarter built on the place of the historic Bunker Hill. Together with the Ahmanson Theater, it was built a part of the Late Modernist ensemble in the sixties, envisioned to host live events and performances.

Modernist version of a classical temple building surrounded by a peristasis of hexagonal, fluted columns, it is a new interpretation of an ancient design. The colonnades of tapered and reverse tapered columns show finesse in structural calculus combined with sculptural treatment of the concrete elements. The same can be noticed on the broad roof overhang featuring elementary reminiscence of the dentils or geison. Contrary to the brutal concrete construction bearing the roof, the core of the building is entirely glazed, light and translucent. It is also ascetic. The materials are not used decoratively, but practically, and every component of the building has a clear function.

The only aspect of the building distorting the emphasis of rectangular forms and juxtaposed horizontal and vertical lines is the visually inflated volume of the building, swelling in a gestural effort of becoming an arena. And, it did become one.

 

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