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Cool Down with Architecture: Must See Landmarks of Los Angeles


Cool Down with Los Angeles Architecture

Paul Kaplan

I've made it a professional goal to be known as a leader in the Real Estate industry in the Palm Springs market for the past 20+ years...

I've made it a professional goal to be known as a leader in the Real Estate industry in the Palm Springs market for the past 20+ years...

Jun 7 6 minutes read

Palm Springs basks in sunshine year-round, a haven for those who love the desert heat. But even the most sun-kissed soul craves a break sometimes.  This glorious weather also means there's an entire world of cooler climes just a scenic drive away!  For architecture enthusiasts seeking a respite from the desert sun, a weekend escape to explore iconic Los Angeles landmarks might be the perfect solution.  Get ready to trade in your poolside cocktails for a refreshing architectural adventure put together by The Paul Kaplan Group!  Let's dive into some of the must-see structures that should be on your itinerary.

Los Angeles is a city where architectural diversity is as vibrant as its cultural scene. From modern masterpieces like the Broad Museum to historic gems like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, L.A. offers a stunning array of iconic structures by notable architects.

In L.A., it's a rare sight to find two buildings that look alike. Picture the shimmering curves of the Walt Disney Concert Hall beside the sponge-like façade of the Broad Museum, or a modernist home next to a neighbor with temple-like minarets. This eclectic mix can be attributed to the city's sunny climate, blue skies, and laid-back attitude, which have long attracted brilliant architects and dreamers. Influential figures like the Eameses, Frank Gehry, and Frank Lloyd Wright were drawn to L.A.'s sublime light and inspired by its unique atmosphere. The result is a city that's a visual feast of diverse and innovative architecture.

Here’s our roundup of must-see architectural landmarks in Los Angeles:

The Broad Museum

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the Broad Museum houses the extensive art collection of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad. The building’s unique façade, a porous white shell, and interiors bathed in meticulously controlled natural light make it an architectural marvel. The collection itself features impressive works by artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, and Cindy Sherman.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Frank Gehry's design for the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is a cultural centerpiece in downtown L.A. Known for its sweeping, glinting steel curves, the building also features hidden staircases that allow visitors to explore its exterior peaks.

The Getty Center

Perched atop a hill, the Getty Center, designed by Richard Meier, is a masterpiece of modernist architecture. It houses J. Paul Getty’s vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The Central Garden, an ever-evolving work of art conceived by artist Robert Irwin, adds to the site's allure.

Eames House (Case Study House #8)

The former home and studio of designers Charles and Ray Eames is now a private residence. However, architecture enthusiasts can take self-guided tours of the exterior by reservation. This mid-century modern icon is a must-see for its impact on architectural design.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

LACMA is an anchor of the Southern California art scene. It features architectural contributions by William Pereira and plant-based art by Robert Irwin. The entrance is famously marked by Chris Burden's "Urban Light," a forest of restored streetlamps.

Hollyhock House

Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House, designed between 1919 and 1921, was commissioned by an eccentric oil heiress. This temple-like structure represents Wright's introduction to L.A. and a shift toward what would become known as California modernism. Recently renovated, it now serves as a public museum.

Stahl House

Pierre Koenig's Stahl House, perched in the Hollywood Hills, epitomizes the California modernist dream home. With floor-to-ceiling glass walls, stunning city views, and a pool, it offers regular tours to visitors.

Griffith Observatory

Located high in the Hollywood Hills, Griffith Observatory is a beloved landmark. It features Art Deco architecture, a high-powered telescope, free admission, and panoramic views of Los Angeles.

Explore and Discover

Los Angeles is a city where architecture tells the story of its past and present, reflecting its diverse influences and innovative spirit. Whether exploring grand institutions or hidden gems, the city’s architectural landscape is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered.

Architecture enthusiasts and curious tourists alike will find plenty to admire in the varied and vibrant structures that make up the fabric of Los Angeles. So, take a tour, marvel at the designs, and experience the rich architectural heritage of this dynamic city.

For more information and to explore the stunning architecture of Los Angeles, visit the official websites and plan your visit to these iconic landmarks.  *Photos courtesy of Architecture Digest, By Janelle Zara, January 20, 2016 

Read More from Architecture Digest

Would you love to embark on an architecture tour with the Paul Kaplan Group? We're thrilled to announce our partnership with Hey Sailor Travel to bring you dynamic, guided architecture tours. Imagine exploring the architectural wonders of Los Angeles, the Mid-Century marvels of Mexico City, the hidden gems of Phoenix, the iconic Bauhaus in Germany, or the breathtaking Biennale in Venice. Click below to join our interest list and be the first to know about these exciting tours.!

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