Rick Caruso is turning Los Angeles into Cheesecake Factory

Only one photo manipulation it’s going around, creating fun at our New World ‘Woke’. It depicts a man in a spandex tunic across a field of 1980s laser glory, jazz music raised in a presentation gesture. The top caption reads, “YOU CAN ALWAYS MAKE ONE EXACTLY ONE” and between his palms is the maxim: “NEVER BE optimistic.” Regarding vocal performance, I tend to agree, but yes, in our city the pervasive presence of architectural gestures is an insult not only to taste but to with the livability, vision, aesthetic conscience, creative lineage and class of Los Angeles Architecture, the country of Italy and the very idea of ​​the Renaissance.

You probably already know what I’m talking about. The Hidden Valley Renaissance is a farmhouse alteration of Italian Renaissance architecture – primarily pabulum, the flavored variety, taken for granted and consumed accordingly. Add green blobs. Grove, and his cousin across the street, Palazzo. Americana at Brand Luxury Apartments. Villas at Park La Brea. Set of projects called Orsini, Da Vinci, Medici, Lorenzo, Ferrante, Visconti, etc, etc.

Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier famously dictated that “a house is a machine in which to live,” but the developers behind the Renaissance properties in the Hidden Valley envisioned one. home is merely a scone for the Cheesecake Factory; a thought after going to a shopping mall. These living shops are designed from the outside in to look like faded imitations of Italian palaces, with some Beaux-Arts doodles included along with the track lighting and Essential retail footprint. I restrict my use of the term “development” to these types of land-use endeavors, because this type of property, at this scale, really stands for any kind of development beyond beyond itself. These self-contained small cities, these adult playgrounds are strictly zoned for cultural and commercial activities pre-destined by billionaires like mayoral candidate Rick Caruso, who behind the Americana organization at Brand and the Grove. They are designed to prevent any possibility of spontaneous commerce and communities, in particular, which are the lifeblood of urban existence.

I know people who live in apartments in Americana. They are fine. If you happen to live in one of the apartments above the Tory Burch store, you can go directly to Amici Trattoria’s courtyard patrons. The interior is definitely all straight lines unlike palazzo, optical white walls, steel appliances, oak fixtures. Outside is a cosmopolitan pub – next to the main elevator, topped by rusty iron that closely resembles the Eiffel Tower, there’s a series of cluttered facades ranging from gray brick with bright white to tinted windows. Dark with Corinthian columnar porch to marsh mustard concrete with Art Deco decoration. However, eclecticism is less than the sum of its parts, like when you mix all the colors of the rainbow just to create an opaque gray. The fact that these places can be perfectly pleasant to live in is ancillary to their primary function as signs of the good life to help fill the void left by more and more clusters of shops masquerading as communities, where Community members are clearly hidden.

It’s obviously painful in LA that hired does not necessarily mean occupy. Most recent from the Californians Coalition for Community Empowerment Report vacancies pointed out that “thousands of luxury apartments across the city are vacant, owned as second homes or pure investments”. Caruso Co website says that their Excelsior luxury apartments are “100% filled”, although on many of my evening outings to Americana for seclusion at Sephora, the windows of most of these apartments look out. Music fountains are erupting in the center of the mall is still very curious dark. On a busy Saturday night, I precisely tracked a group of four friends crammed around a pub table on one of Excelsior’s small terraces. The sight of actual human bodies gathered there only draws more attention to the uniform emptiness of the apartment facade – no laundry on the railing, no trees, no treatment options. strange logic on the windows, no small sparkle of television filtering through the curtains, nothing to say about anything life is bustling next to the giant Nordstrom with its large bathroom on the ground floor, where I vent dropped his DivaCup after hitting 30% off titles at Barnes & Noble.

Emptiness is baked into the concept of luxury. In essence, it’s not for everyone. What does it mean to stack luxury apartments atop a chain of restaurants and fast-fashion stores, like so many developments among them, and call it a community? Are shoppers being fooled by a luxury idea or residents being fooled by an idea of ​​community? Or both? Or is the purpose of luxury to see how many income generating vectors can be pooled into a single asset?

Of course, the Euro-blend spills over into all types of real estate holdings, the most aesthetically disastrous of which is Geoffrey Palmer’s collection of Gucci House-style buildings pervasive. downtown. My personal favorite is the Ferrante, which I like to think is named after an Italian novelist who has a pseudonym but is probably inspired by a dish in Sbarro. This infectious Olive Factory/Cheesecake Garden style has a lot to do with real estate exploration that imagines themselves as providers of a new Renaissance, but the buildings themselves less inspired by Renaissance principles than vague stabbings of secularity. Some of the architectural features of the estates held in Palmer include an Egyptian obelisk in the middle of a Roman fountain, environmental design done in wrought-iron Papyrus font, and frescoes. Ugly medieval relief that looks like David Cronenberg tried to rebrand the Ribet Academy. Like illness, aesthetics can also get out of hand. The historic vision exemplified by Palmer’s buildings is adamantly not going out with the history of the neighborhoods they occupy. Spiked ledges that don’t allow sitting – for people and birds – and overhead bridges that allow tenants to cross the street without having to go out onto the sidewalk mark the residence more like a fortress.

City blocks are razed to make room for these cosmic latte compounds, yet most of the buildings done in this style remain hazy. (Cosmic Latte is really the name for the medium color of the universe. It’s basically beige.) They lack a playful energy, like Las Vegas appropriating Italian architecture. It’s been said that Los Angeles is the city of surfaces, and it’s safe to consider most of our architecture kitsch, because when a building puts all its cards on the table, relationship The relationship between the surrounding environment and the people will freely form and change.

I don’t like snobbery. I love shopping, and I like weird buildings. So why does the idea of ​​a residence in a Sprinkles Cupcake ATM’s direct conduit feel uncomfortable to me? Because despite the inclusion of picturesque gardens and fun time machines, there’s something about the Hidden Valley Renaissance that feels unsettlingly productive, a subtle control snag hidden in it all. what to advertise about culture and community. And because it sits between the trusses and the striped porch and the ornate fountain, it’s somehow more sinister than the modernist experiments with the bald face that characterizes most ants. fortified but fenced residential architecture of mid-century Los Angeles. The dingbats that dot the city to this day were quickly built as uniform boxes with beautiful exteriors and lucky paints. Many fell into disrepair, but also many were revived and remodeled from within to accommodate the fluctuations of their inhabitants. Paradoxically each identical box becomes a symbol of its particular neighborhood. The stylistic experiments of architects such as Rudolph Schindler, Richard Neutra, John Lautner, and Frank Lloyd Wright may not be the utopian reality of pure design (the immaterial game of efficiency). ), but along with Googie diners and plastered bungalows, they helped shape Los Angeles’ linguistic architecture as one that makes the most of its alien visions. Surname say something about the city.

These cream-and-black fake Italian monuments don’t seem to mean anything. What these enclosed spaces are designed to do is eliminate the possibility. Nothing happens in them by accident without prior approval in the design phase. Architectural configurations are more efficient than any Modern box. These buildings pretend to be imaginative, so you don’t have to. They have a rich history to save you the trouble of discovering it on your own.

In her 1969 book, The Economy of Cities, Jane Jacobs writes: “Those who think we would be better off without cities, especially without large, unmanageable, disordered cities, never tire of explaining that the Cities grow too large, in any case, inefficient and impractical.” Jacobs is an economist who has extensively studied what she calls the “valuable inefficiency” of cities. “I do not mean that cities have economic value in spite of their inefficiency and impracticality,” she continued, “but that because they are inefficient and impractical.” [emphasis mine]. She goes on to explain that the freedom of small businesses, merchants, builders, and citizens in general has failed and paradoxically experimented with allowing cities to flourish. A massive self-contained complex of planned residential, commercial and cultural activities is not actually a “development” at all. That is stagnation. Their efforts to build them around a perfect blend of aspiration and non-addictive taste overshadow their deeper ambitions to be full-blown factories in which to live, eliminating the unreal. economical and inefficient. And, to some extent, life itself.

A city’s growth is a tango of tension between its citizens and the civic bodies they elect to represent them – a wary population that always finds the line between support and control. , repeatedly urging the government to maintain its good side (the pro-side, in case you were wondering). Mega developers overcome this important civic dialectic by building adult playgrounds and rendering them caricatures of opulent European cities to hide the fact that they designed to control and monitor the lifestyle of their inhabitants. These buildings are made for kids because that’s how the building sees you. And they pile up arbitrary signs of luxury until they reach the silent frenzy of luxury, a deafening silence of the imagination.

Christina Catherine Martinez is a writer, actress, comedian and daughter of Los Angeles. She received the Creative Capital / Andy Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant and has been named the Comedian You Should Know by TimeOut LA and New York Magazine. Her book of essays, “Aesthetical Relations,” is available at Hesse Press. She was born and raised in Southern California.

https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/image/story/2022-06-06/archictecture-appraisal-rick-caruso-has-turned-los-angeles-into-the-cheesecake-factory Rick Caruso is turning Los Angeles into Cheesecake Factory

Russell Falcon

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