What Is That Thing Under Construction

downtownicme.jpg I was downtown a week or so ago, buying a St. Christopher medal at the Cathedral. I parked above the freeway, on Hill street and saw this construction site. I didn’t know what it was until I drove past it on my way home — The Central LA Area New High School #9, The High School for Visual and the Performing Arts. But even then, I couldn’t figure what the heck that thing at the top was. The first thing that came to my mind was: Waterslide? Cool, wish my high school had had a waterslide. I did some cursory googling and found additional images and info here and here. Does anyone know more specifically what that thing will be? Is it just “artistic”? I’m all about practicality.
(click the photo for bigger)

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8 Replies to “What Is That Thing Under Construction”

  1. I have no idea what it is but saw it in my meanderings over the last couple of weekds down in that direction. I’ll be curious to see what our more curious readers can add.

    What’s the matter with art just for the sake of art? Nice when form follows function, but sometimes its just to have something to look at and stop you in your tracks. Watt’s Towers come to mind as an example.

  2. the tower #9

    Vienna based arch/firm COOP HIMMELBLAU – project – central LA high school –

    http://www.coop-himmelblau.at/index_frames.php
    COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s design proposal envisions a tower as a symbol for the arts in the city and a sign for the positive development of the arts, education and our society. As an extension of the public lobby the tower, which on its top provides a conference room, event space and exhibition space with a view across the entire city of LA,
    will encourage students to have a positive outlook into the future. The tower’s sculpture is completed with a spiral ramp in form of a number 9 and two billboards, which are both signage and information interface for the school. (In the design approved by LAUSD for execution the tower will not be accessible.) The crystalline public lobby, with uses as theater lobby or exhibition area – creates the public face of the school towards downtown Los Angeles, while a representational school entrance via a grand open staircase addresses the community.Inside the campus the library in form of a cone is given importance as the ”Space of Knowledge” and is the focal point of the central courtyard. Circular windows give the otherwise very utilitarian school buildings a distinct expression and – in strategic positions – reveal its inner life to the passer-by.

    In direct vicinity of the downtown Los Angeles cultural corridor with the recently finished Disney Concert Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Cathedral Our Lady of Angels the Los Angeles Unified School District is planning High School number 9 as LAUSD’s new flagship high school project with emphasis in the Visual and Performing Arts. As such the school campus will include four academies for education in music, dance, theater arts and visual arts, and a theater for 1,000 visitors which can be open to the public.
    Completion: 08/2008
    Scheduled Opening: 09/2008

    http://www.calendarlive.com/architecture/cl-ca-ouroussoff8jun08,0,1299468.story?coll=cl-architecture
    http://www.arcspace.com/architects/coop_himelblau/high_school/high_school.html

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