Lenticularis at Sci-Arc gallery

posted by on 2010.08.02, under architecture, exhibition

We went over to Sci-Arc last week to check out the current project up in their gallery space, Lenticularis by Hitoshi Abe. The project is a large scale mock-up of a proposal for the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center plaza in Little Tokyo, originally designed by Isamu Noguchi.
Based on a particular type of cloud formation that sometimes appears over mountains (I have seen some great examples out in Anza-Borrego State park), the quasi-functional sculptural object will span over the plaza, providing some shade, some views of a curious object from the street, and reflecting both plaza and sky in the middle. Checking out the 1:7 scale version at Sci-Arc, we couldn’t help but see strong similarities to the work of sculptor Anish Kapoor, and wonder how it will serve to mitigate the summer heat of the plaza, or shelter it from winter rains (part of the brochure from Sci-Arc describes it as a ‘roof’ which responds to the plaza being “too exposed to the climate of Los Angeles”). I am pretty curious as to how it would come off at full scale, crouching over the plaza, and a bit skeptical of it all as anything but a beautiful sculptural object. This unveiling also served as a presentation to the clients, so it remains to be seen whether they are sold on it in this form – if so, I might be able to check it out there myself in a little over a years time.