“Never Built: Los Angeles” Questions the Present
See the city that got away in “Never Built: Los Angeles,” a survey of architectural concepts that died on the drafting board, running through October 13 at A+D Architecture and Design Museum in L.A.Designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects , the exhibit’s 100 drawings, models, and media depict unrealized buildings, master plans, parks, and transportation systems, including Doheny Ranch, Frank Lloyd Wright Jr.’s 1923 rethinking of suburbia, and Green Blade, a plant-clad condominium tower by Ateliers Jean Nouvel from 2008.
John Lautner’s 1975 sketch of a nature center in Griffith Park. Photo courtesy of Getty Research Institute.
The exhibit’s co-curators Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin worked with Wilkinson to organize a vast cache of drawings, sketches, and artifacts with low trapezoidal plinths shaping walkways within the single large gallery. Further tying everything together is chiaroscuro vinyl flooring rendered as a 1938 map of the city.
The architect made an equally graphic statement at the storefront. He covered glass with a lenticular surface of interlocking MDF panels clad with printed vinyl. One side announces the show; the other has images of a monorail. The presentation is a fascinating take on what could have been.