Sitting in my architectural ‘writing studio’ thinking that I have nothing to say, no books to write, no gossipy quarters to spread the word, no invitations from prestigious magazines who publish noteworthy architectural projects and noteworthy opinion pieces written by noteworthy socialites. I am feeling distant to architectural intelligentsia, to the blogs of buzzing architectural pornography and utopia du jour of high thinking. I say; “Buzz this!” At least I have ideas, freedom and a point of view from my car.
by Orhan Ayyüce
Known Typologies: Twin Buildings
Below is the definition of the “TWIN” buildings influenced by the Wikipedia’s definition of human twins, whereas the word “offspring” is traded for “building.”
“Twins are two buildings resulting from the same developer, usually built in close succession. They can be the same or different orientation. Twins can either be monozygotic (MZ, colloquially "identical") or dizygotic (DZ, colloquially "fraternal" or "non-identical").” (more here…)
Twin buildings exist for several reasons. Even though their market economy driven cause usually trumps other considerations, they may also have some expressive conditions built into them.
I’ll start with simple diagram modified from the internet to give otherwise ordinary buildings an agency and comparative placement:
As you can see from the diagram above, a developer can build two buildings with twin concept. He can save a lot of cash from the architectural billing and contract time, from the material purchases and double discounts, and, from the ease of proven installation and erection, all of which translate into large sums of monetary gain whose importance in American urbanism is paramount.
Next time you drive by a twin concept building, take a look at them and say, “Thanks Orhan, I see what you mean.”
The Century City Residential Towers
“Two for one” can be beautiful, artistic and above all, a good investment, like the twin residential towers pictured below. As you drive on Pico Blvd. these towers edge the twin heaven of Los Angeles, the Century City. You might not think of it while driving but the actual apartments per side might be very different as they are oriented different ways and command over different views and solar exposures. I have included three different exposures on below picture to prove that; as the light changes, the towers offer unique artistic feeling and colors.
Century City Residential Towers, Los Angeles
Gateway Twins on La Cienega Blvd.
Another example represents twin idea’s power as an urban design typology. The Gateway concept is usually achieved in critical urban intersections marking an entry to a significant area retaining an economical difference, usually an upscale one.
This is a gateway to better and upper social condition.
This is a ‘Way’ that has a “Gate.”
In this case, the medical buildings on La Cienega Blvd., in Los Angeles are cited. These non-identical, a.k.a, dizygotic twins, are matched in every detail except their height and leased floor space.
The Corbusian pelvic curve as canopies is a unique giveaway to designers’ relationship to an “entry” location as in a pornographic sense, in plan of course.
It is a great coincidence, an urban design critic’s luck, the perspective from this particular gateway directly captures Larry Flynt's Hustler Magazine Headquarters in the background.
A bit stretched and dirty minded but I feel like upping the ante going into Beverly Hills.
Non-identical Gateway Twins on La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles
Marina Del Rey Twins
These twins, beacons of Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles, strikingly standing between Lincoln Blvd. and Admiralty Way, are the twins of the world’s largest boat marina. The University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute , a leading research center for artificial intelligence is housed here. As if that's not wild enough, part of the first floor is occupied by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Such important and potentially top secret research is mind boggling. Could this be a case of one building being the body double type of situation as one containing the top secret material and the other one being a decoy for possible hi-end technology heists? Someone knows, but I suspect…
Also, make no mistake, these twins are hardly identical. Simply count the bays on the sides and you’ll notice it too. How's that for a commentary on perspective illusion? I didn’t photoshop.
Twinsters Galore in This Century
Possibly The Century City in Los Angeles has one of the highest rate of twin buildings in the country for the total square foot of leased commercial space.
Like, enter Century City here:
And, exit Century City here:
Sometimes in between, twins sit side by side in Century City:
I personally think all the developers were on fertility pills when they were.., umm.., doing.., the deed.
While I was there, I presented my 10 questions about twins to security officer who said, “sir you have to stop taking pictures and leave.”
There you have it; this is a risk taking article.
Casual Twins are Everywhere
Yes you might have guessed it. We live in times that casual sex is widely accepted and it is no accident you might see the fruits of it as you drive on the streets of Los Angeles.
Famous Pico Blvd. and vicinity for example, was 80’s sexual revolution hot bed.
Three samples in one mile radius, with apartments excluded:
Dingbat Twins are Beautiful
Of course you have seen the rest but these are the best. The all meaningful, benevolent, low income and ever so iconic dingbat apartments of Los Angeles. Like, if you never lived in one, you are not a real Angelino yet.
One time I did say in one of my short stories;
“Every dream that arrives to Los Angeles from distant places eventually dissipates into the cardboard walls of the dingbat apartments.”
Below three samples are homage to this unsung hero sheltering many of this town’s denizens.
Anyway, before I say goodbye to this, I need to open a free donation Double Happiness @Flick’r account so my friends from Oakland , Koreatown and Los Feliz could donate their findings.
cake decoration style ‘creative office.com’ buildings , other oddities
v.2 Dingbats and intersections
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