by Richard Risemberg
There is nothing in machinery, there is nothing in embankments and railways and iron bridges and engineering devices to oblige them to be ugly. Ugliness is the measure of imperfection.
In the middle of Los Angeles's Miracle Mile, there is a remarkable building that, you could say, dances with the street. Not literally, of course; it is as immobile as any other edifice. But because of its thoughtful, clever, and, shall we say, compassionate design, it interacts with the street life on all four sides of the busy block it occupies in a way that the neoBrutalist shoebox skyscrapers so common in the US inevitably fail to do.
It is a successful office building, packed with tenants both prestigious and workaday, including entertainment companies, credit unions, the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Goethe-Institut, architects, publicity firms, and more. It was LEED Silver certified in 2009.
It is also a gift to the neighborhood, both in its design and in the many seemingly gratuitous amenities it offers both tenants and passesrby--including four fountains, sixty covered (and guarded!) bicycle parking spaces outside (with more in the underground garage), and even a publicly-accessible park on the 8th Street side.
It is the Wilshire Courtyard, just catercorner from the famous La Brea Tar Pits, and it lives up to its name.
We'll let it speak for itself in the photos (most of them taken on a quiet Sunday) below....
The main entrance on Wilshire Boulevard
A striking façade
One of the fountains that flank the main entryway
Detail of the fountain in the East Courtyard
The West Courtyard with its fountain
An atrium (one of four)
View from the 8th Street side
Even the side with the utility entrances isn't too bad
The southwest corner, facing a residential intersection
The mini-park on the 8th Street side
One of our favorite features, the turtle pond
At the tail end of lunch hour, during the week
Text & photos by Richard Risemberg