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Edie Cohen | August 08, 2013
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.