Coop Himmelb(l)au, Austria
In 2011, the architectural office Coop Himmelb(l)au received the red dot for the “Central Los Angeles Area High School #9 for the Visual and Performing Arts”:
In 1968, the architectural office Coop Himmelb(l)au was founded in Vienna. Today, Wolf D. Prix, Wolfdieter Dreibholz, Harald Krieger, Karolin Schmidbaur and various project partners run the office which focuses on architecture, urban planning, design and art. In 1988, a second studio was opened in Los Angeles, USA. There are further project offices in Frankfurt, Paris and Hong Kong. The agency currently employs 150 creative people from 19 different nations.
Architecture to catch on
The “Central Los Angeles Area High School #9 for the Visual and Performing Arts” of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is part of a project that aims at building 155 new schools in this area by 2012. With its central location on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, the educational institution was planned as a part of the city’s cultural establishments.
The school for the visual and performing arts ought to be organised as a campus with seven separate buildings: four of them with classrooms and studios and three communal buildings with public access which contain a theatre and a series of courtyards.
The design concept of Coop Himmelb(l)au included the use of architectural signs in order to communicate the city’s commitment to art. Thus, the main idea was to create a tower on the theatre’s roof. It is a widely visible symbol for “Art” that connects the school visually and formally with downtown Los Angeles.