Mapping out Los Angeles’ concrete structure

Design of a concrete architecture in Los Angeles

Concrete structures across Los Angeles are depicted on a new map that documents the best brutalist buildings in the city. Deane Masden, architecture critic and former co-editor of Architect Magazine, has compiled a selection of architectural highlights including William L. Pereira, Edward Durell Stone, SOM and Minoru Yamasaki.

Los Angeles’ expansion of concrete structures is first watched from the driver’s seat of an automobile rather than on foot like other maps in the concrete series – critic Reyner Banham described LA in 1971 as a “uniquely mobile metropolis” and remains so today.

The cover of the Concrete Map Los Angeles by Blue Crow Media

The heart is covered by the heart of Hollywood, with the Cinerama Dome on Sunset, Glendale’s First United Methodist Church to the north, and other lesser-explored areas of the city – even a transportation hub designed by Marilyn Jorgenson Reece.

Liberty Savings and Loan Building, designed by Kurt Meyer, 1966. Photography: Jason Woods

The map shows how concrete architecture has evolved in modern times – how architects have used it to express a variety of philosophies and building techniques. On the map we can see the entire scope. From Frank Lloyd Wright’s early modern concrete block mansions from the mid-20th century to contemporary concrete structures such as The Broad by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, which demonstrate engineering techniques that cross borders.

Rudolph Schindler’s fold-up houses and John Lautner’s lush roof lines show how specifically Los Angeles was defined as the city of “case study houses” so that architects could experiment with the local architectural form.

CSUDH University Theater Los Angeles, designed by A. Quincy Jones in 1973. Photography: Jason Woods

The design of the card follows the format of the previous cards in the series, with red font on gray and black and white photography by Jason Woods, who creatively merges discovery, travel and architecture into a clean guide through concrete architectural philosophies, urbanization and city life. § §

The card is the 18th in the series by Blue Crow Media, which deals with concrete and brutalist architecture from Boston to Berlin

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