7/10/11

Lloyd Wright Yucca Market Hollywood 1928

Frank Lloyd Wright's eldest son Lloyd amid the cars and climate of Southern California. "Wright, who seldom missed an opportunity to create startling effects with his expressionistic use of form, decoration and materials, was faced with a constricted midblock site and a low budget. He adopted the idea of minimally enclosed market space and a cantilevered roof to attract the eye of customers on the periphery... Perhaps taking a cue from several recent projects by his celebrated father, Wright developed a taut but perceptually casual geometry of oblique angles for both the plan and the elevations. The market front was uninterrupted save for thin V-shaped steel struts that seemed more like decorative flourishes beneath the bulky roof (which was in fact no more than a series of sharply pitched beams enveloped in corrugated, galvanized iron). The same cheap material was used for the rear walls and display baseboards - all of it sprayed with aluminum paint. In a masterful play of illusion, the building appeared at once massive and minimal. Great chunky blocks were rendered as flimsy planes supported more by some unexplained force than by an intelligible system. Day or night, the effect was difficult to ignore." - The Drive-In, The Supermarket And The Transformation Of Commercial Space In Los Angeles, 1914-1941, by Richard Longstreth. Corresponding night photo comes from Kevin Starr's 'Los Angeles: Portrait Of A City'.

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