FLAUNT magazine Oh LA LA LAND Issue on Los Angeles-Paris featuring AWP

A text by Alessandra Cianchetta features in the Oh LA LA Land issue – the Imaginists section of FLAUNT magazine to comment our drawing :

the drawing presented here merges the artificial underground topography of Paris—as planned in its second modernity—with L.A.’s fabric and sensual topography.

The angular multi-layered, subterranean world of La Défense is overlapped with the curvaceous topography of the Santa Monica Mountains and Hollywood Hills, with the scenic Mulholland Drive in-between, as if a border. The two worlds collide, merging different scales in a blurred super-position.

What defines our approach to architecture and to cities is the way that soft and hard, slow and fast, rough and smooth, natural and artificial co-exist and collide.

Betty Elms meets Monsieur Hulot.

In Paris, we chose a location both emblematic of modernization in post-war Europe, and notorious for its disconnected and inhospitable environments. The only high rise cluster in an otherwise exceptionally homogeneous city—in skyline, materials, textures and urban composition, the CBD also represents a reference and a tribute to American Modern Architecture and an idea of modern living.

This mega infrastructure is only apparently driven by rationality: it indeed seems much closer to radical—even utopian—architecture. It aimed at rationally separating flows and activities but ended up being an “unpredictable and irresistible” site. The place shows a somehow dystopic image of modernity. Not even a Clay or a Patrick Bateman here, making the subterranean deck a scene for pulpy noirs. The hardness and the greyness of the concrete deck contrasts with L.A.’s soft topography, merging in grid only disrupted by hardcore “unforgiving” freeways infrastructure. As English architectural critic Reyner Banham puts it, Los Angeles breaks all urban rules compared to Paris or to London. Paris’ highly codified and choreographed gloom and pompous seriousness merges wonderfully with a landscape of delusional, somewhat toxic, yet always-appealing happiness. (Alessandra Cianchetta)