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Old October 10th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #21
phattonez
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Like I said, they're still teenagers.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 03:55 AM   #22
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more pics please!!!! I love this school, wish I had gone to such a high school...
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Old October 11th, 2007, 05:25 AM   #23
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that school would make me want to put on tights for dance
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Old November 17th, 2007, 06:26 AM   #24
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Making a School a Masterpiece

Grand Avenue Arts Academy Aims to Sing, Dance and Inspire

By Evan George

Although it will not open for almost two years, passersby already stop and stare at the Los Angeles Unified School District's most beguiling work-in-progress. The boulder-sized ocular windows, a winding helix tower and a library that looks more like a nuclear reactor all make the arts academy at 450 N. Grand Ave. hard to miss.

Officials with the school district say the $232 million High School for the Visual and Performing Arts is 70% complete. Starting in fall 2009, the campus will serve about 1,600 students.

"We'll have it completely finished, furnished and everything by October or November of next year," said Rick Hijazi, senior project manager for the LAUSD. He added that the school could see performances or other events between completion and the first day of classes.

The campus, also called Central L.A. Area High School #9, occupies a 10-acre site just north of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Its location on the northern edge of Grand Avenue - a street that contains structures designed by some of the world's most prominent architects - has raised expectations.

Originally conceived in 2000 as a traditional high school, local leaders, including billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad, pressed the district to make it an arts-oriented academy. As a result, the curriculum was retooled to focus on four areas: visual arts, music, theater and dance. Each discipline will be housed in its own building.

Although Downtown Los Angeles architecture firm AC Martin Partners began designing the school, LAUSD reopened the project to an international competition when the decision was made to shift to the arts academy. Ultimately, Vienna-based Coop Himmelblau was chosen to handle the designs. HMC Architects are also involved.

Those behind the project say they hope the school will win the kind of international renown usually bestowed on cultural landmarks like museums and theaters.

"Not only are museums important for art in society, but so are the schools for art," said lead architect Wolf Prix, who traveled from Vienna to lead a tour of the campus last Wednesday. "We came up with the idea that we have to make a statement for art," by making the school "describable and recognizable," Prix said.

The attention-grabbing design goes hand-in-hand with Broad and other local leaders' larger vision to enhance Grand Avenue. The street already contains the cathedral designed by José Raphael Moneo, Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall and architect Arata Isozaki's Museum of Contemporary Art. Other architecturally praised structures on the street include the Colburn School and the Central Library. As well, Gehry is designing the high-rises that will stand out in Related Cos. coming $2 billion Grand Avenue project.

Prix said he thinks tourists who pose for photos in front of Disney Hall will come to admire the school as well. "Expanding the cultural interest in this area, you can do that with architecture," he said.

Form and Function

Finding the 230,000-square-foot facility will not be a problem for tourists or students thanks to the school's tower - a 140-foot beacon that looms above the 101 Freeway just opposite the cathedral bell tower.

Wrapped in a steel helix that resembles an unwound number nine, the tower is meant to establish the school's location from afar, but also to give a unifying sense of identity to students, Prix said. Whether eating lunch in the center plaza or trudging to third period in the sculpture department's glass studio, the tower is visible from most points on campus.

It rises from a 40,000-square-foot theater complex that contains several performance spaces, including a 950-seat auditorium, an intimate black-box theater and an outdoor amphitheater carved into the backside of the building. The theaters are expected to host community events and outside artists as well as school performances.

"If you've been to the REDCAT theater, it will be like that," said Gary Gidcumb, a project manager for HMC Architects.

More than 60 classrooms and loft-style workspaces with 14-foot ceilings are split between two main school buildings that line Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues. Stairways look out to the street through huge circular windows.

A third building will house administrative offices, and the courtyard will hold a generous public plaza that segues into a partially outdoor cafeteria with views of the Downtown skyline. The main entrance from Cesar Chavez is a long, wide staircase leading up to the middle of campus. From the bottom of the stairs, both the tower and the steel-perforated cone-shaped library appear.

Prix acknowledged that questions have already been raised about the unusual design of the library, with some wondering whether the outlandish shape earns the most bang for the district's buck, considering it creates a significant amount of unusable space between the floor and the skylight roof.

"That's the wrong question," Prix said. "A library is a space for trading knowledge. It is the most important space" on the entire campus, he said.

Questions have also been raised about the cost. Originally pegged at $87 million, the price tag jumped to $208 million when the school was reconfigured as an arts academy. Since construction began in March 2005, the cost has increased again, to about $232 million.

About $5 million of the construction and operating costs will be paid by Broad's foundation, according to Karen Denne, chief communications director for the Broad Foundation.

LAUSD's Hijazi said the cost increase was due to "more inspections, more tests" and a rigorous schedule to make certain the facility opens on time. The contractor now works on Saturdays, meaning LAUSD coordinators also had to up their hours, he added.

"This is a lot cheaper than having delays on the project," Hijazi said.

The facility is the latest of three new high schools in the Downtown area built partly to relieve overcrowding at nearby Belmont High.

In 2006, the $160 million Miguel Contreras Learning Complex in City West swung its doors open to 1,900 students. Next September, the long-delayed Vista Hermosa campus is slated to welcome more than 2,000 students, at a total cost of $400 million. Both have received praise from local leaders for their robust architecture.

Still, Prix said something new and remarkable is at play with the Grand Avenue school.

"This is a commitment to the arts from LAUSD," he said.

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Source: Los Angeles Downtown News
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Old November 18th, 2007, 09:41 PM   #25
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Ah very special design...
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 07:31 AM   #26
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I think its pretty cool. Although there should be more windows, I hate when school are like big brick jailhouses.

And about the windows in schools, don't they use a lot of plexiglass type material anyway? If not they should.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 05:09 AM   #27
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November 25, 2007

Quote:
Originally Posted by fridayinla
image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


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image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
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Old December 1st, 2007, 07:41 AM   #28
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Editorial

LAUSD on Right Path With Arts High School

The Los Angeles Unified School District is on the cusp of creating an extraordinary building, a worthy addition to the blossoming Grand Avenue. It is a significant accomplishment for a bureaucracy that has endured more than its share of trouble.

Los Angeles Downtown News recently reported on the progress of the High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, which is scheduled to open in fall 2009 overlooking the 110 Freeway, across from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The design by lead architect Wolf Prix, of Austrian firm Coop Himmelblau, is an attention-grabbing complex, one that will serve the 1,600 students, and potentially change Los Angeles' mind about what a school can be.

Prix is taking advantage of the unique landscape by including a 140-foot tower that is intended to mirror the cathedral's bell tower. The project includes such untraditional elements as massive round windows and a library where the shelves of books give way to airy (and unusable) space that stretches up to the skylight roof.

While one cannot pass final judgment until the school is completed, LAUSD appears to have made the right choice by going with Prix's audacious design. It is a breathtakingly expensive project at $232 million - and that cost is hard to swallow given the district's poor record of educating students - but the LAUSD could be creating one of the most talked-about schools in the nation.

In fact, the school has high standards to meet. At the northern end of Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, it is part of a cascade of developments that flows to the cathedral, the Music Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Colburn School, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and down to the Central Library at Fifth Street. It is adjacent to the planned $2 billion Grand Avenue project, and anything that can continue the momentum of that effort should be encouraged.

The LAUSD has had many past failures and boondoggles, chronicled in this publication and others. But for now, the district appears to be proceeding well on one important project.

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Source: Los Angeles Downtown News
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 05:47 AM   #29
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January 1, 2008

image hosted on flickr

From Flickr, by fridayinla

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From Flickr, by fridayinla

image hosted on flickr

From Flickr, by fridayinla

image hosted on flickr

From Flickr, by fridayinla

image hosted on flickr

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From Flickr, by fridayinla
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 01:53 AM   #30
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February 1, 2008

image hosted on flickr

From Flickr, by fridayinla

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From Flickr, by fridayinla

image hosted on flickr

From Flickr, by fridayinla

image hosted on flickr

From Flickr, by fridayinla

image hosted on flickr

From Flickr, by fridayinla

image hosted on flickr

From Flickr, by fridayinla

image hosted on flickr

From Flickr, by fridayinla
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 02:17 AM   #31
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I like everything about it except that stupid tower thing that seems to have no connections to the interior building. So.......useless. A School with that many useless parts would cause outrage in all other parts of the country.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 07:43 AM   #32
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too boxy for performing art school, they can do better...but on another hand I know they follow some building code in LA made them this way....which is very sad.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 07:48 AM   #33
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^ I don't understand your reasoning... at all.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 07:51 AM   #34
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IMHO, the building is absolutely stunning. Wish I had gone to such a nice high school....
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 08:14 AM   #35
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It looks a lot like the new exibition center in Milan..only that that is much better.
Sorry, I don't like it.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 10:22 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westsidelife View Post
^ I don't understand your reasoning... at all.
As we all know if they design something interesting they will just get vote down for some dumb reason.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 05:41 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Il_Milanese View Post
It looks a lot like the new exibition center in Milan..only that that is much better.
Sorry, I don't like it.
Yea, but this is a school, not an exibition center. And there are no schools like that in italy...

E lo dico perche' ho vissuto tutta la mia vita in italia. Magari ci fosse una scuola cosi'. Se vogliamo fare un paragone tra centri come la fiera di milano, perdiamo comunque perche' ci sono centri d'esposizone in america che noi possiamo solo sognarci...

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Old March 4th, 2008, 10:55 AM   #38
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March 2, 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemonkee View Post
LAUSD High School No. 9

One of my favorite projects in the city.

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Old March 10th, 2008, 02:51 AM   #39
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March 8, 2008

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Old March 10th, 2008, 03:30 AM   #40
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great picks and thanks for the updates!
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