Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Ritz

The Ritz Carlton/Marriott, near the Staples Center, is the newest building added to the downtown Los Angeles skyline. It is amazing! I've been intrigued by it since I saw it from a distance during construction about a year ago. The shape of the building and how it adds to the skyline, from most vantage points, is stunning. The reason I say MOST vantage points is because I personally don't like the southwest (looking northeast) view from the 10 fwy. The building seems to block the unity of downtown's previous skyline. However the reason it seems to be blocking the skyline also adds to the building's uniqueness: They add lights to the outside of the building to create a definite outline and a texture to the building's front.
I was curious how they get this multi-colored tetris look with the windows and such. It's mind-blowing to me.

I read this article about it and here's what they had to say: "The façade’s visibility graduates from opaque to transparent as it rises vertically, while simultaneously maximizing energy efficiency. The resulting curtain wall uses numerous glass types—both in color, transparency, reflectivity, and frit pattern—to refine the façade for optimum performance."

Here's another interesting review:
"To keep the many height differentials from cluttering the facade, Gensler designed a unifying glass mosaic. This skin, or “veil,” is composed of alternating transparent, translucent, and fritted glass, along with units colored in blue, silver, and gray, all accented with metal panels." -Sam Lubell, The Architect's Newspaper
Beautiful overall shape. Apparently it opened Feb 16th, just a couple weeks ago, and was designed by an architectural company named Gensler. You can find the article here, with some clearer pictures.
Sort of looks like a cobra, right?

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