Sacred space or corporate lobby? OMA’s temple pavilion rises in Los Angeles

It’s designed by Rem Koolhaas studio – but the $98m Audrey Irmas Pavilion could have done with a little more divine inspiration With Romanesque campaniles, gothic spires and brutalist bell towers, Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles has long been home to an eclectic parade of religious fantasies. Beginning in the 1920s, when the mid-Wilshire area was an upper-class suburban enclave, congregations competed to construct their outsize monuments along this major east-west thoroughfare. Gothic revival churches jostled for position with neo-Byzantine temples, as the city grew west from the congested downtown. Like many things in LA, these buildings seem designed to be experienced from a moving vehicle. Their proportions are puffed up and ornate details simplified, as if scaled to give a drive-by blessing. When you’re stuck in traffic, the gigantic rose windows and dreaming spires might offer a brief moment of roadside redemption. Continue reading...

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