November 4, 2006


I first wrote about the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters in downtown LA in January (link below), but at the time I had only driven by it. I had to do some cop stuff yesterday at Parker Center and found myself parked next to the CalTrans HQ, so I decided to spend some time walking around it and checking out the plaza I had heard so much about. It really is amazing. The kinetic neon wraps the interior of the plaza, but peeks out in other places. Edges and corners cantilever and segments jut out unexpectedly. While the building is massive, the message is clear: this building is about motion.

Designed by the architectural firm Morphosis, the building also actually moves and adjusts to time of day and sun conditions.

The primary function of design is not to look pretty, it is to communicate a message. Here, Morphosis clearly gets it.

  • January 23: good design - government approved?
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