Los Angeles: Emerson College

[Soundtrack: “Know Your Worth” by Khalid & Disclosure]

I don’t know who designed this building, but this feels very much of the height of the SCI-Arc era.

And holy shit- I have to say I was pretty spot on and astonished by my guess. Doing a quick search for a website write up, I discover the architecture firm is Morphosis and my reaction? A chuckle and a “I was close enough” to go along with it. Thomas Mayne, who is the principle of Morphosis, is a founder of SCI-Arc.

My journey for the day was this: Emerson College, Hollyhock House, Huntington Library and then capping off with sunset at Griffith Observatory. Get those logistics pulled together and I’ll see you there. 🙂 I think the only downside of the plan was that Huntington Library was absolutely enormous and I simply did not have enough time… more of that in an upcoming post.

It was a bleak walk from the Airbnb over to Emerson College. I was immediately reminded how LA is really not a city for walking- everyone loves their cars. It’s a city at a scale where the neighborhoods have long stretches of concrete between them. My memory is shit so it really took myself accessing a different part of myself to remember what I was feeling in this time/ space and the song came to me right away.

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute, we read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering- these are noble pursuits necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love. These are what we stay alive for.” ~ quote from “Dead Poets Society”.

It’s that quote that captures so much of the ambiguous, uncomfortable, transition of growth of where I am. I believe it because when I connected to (vs thought) about what I felt at Emerson College- a wave of sensory information washed over me (including the song that I remember first and noted at top). When I go to visit creatively designed buildings, its incredible how I feel. What are you living for? *

The materials and shapes aren’t super friendly, but don’t let appearances fool you. The circulation and space from the limited areas I had access to were well enough thought through (the student center was basically closed on the Saturday that I went with no management around for me to try to sway) that my curiosity was peaked and I wanted so much to experience the rest. (Another example of where I can’t get inside- if this was anywhere convenient I would totally try to get in another time but its pretty bleak remember?)

Up the stairs following a very depressed young fellow human to the entrance on an above ground level- I loved this idea. I wish I had a picture but basically you ended up on this platform enveloped by the structure- such a cool stepped outdoor seating area. I wonder how hot it gets…

This last photo is really one of my favorites in a while. Seeing a human structure built above you, so many feet high, you can sense some kind of greatness of the opportunity for humanity. Take a minute each day to look up- sense of scale is a wondrous power.

Address: 5960 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Website: https://www.archdaily.com/491193/emerson-college-los-angeles-morphosis-architects