Los Angeles is the wrong city. Every accusation that can be made about modern city planning and architecture has been laid at its feet. Despite this, it is the world capital of modernism; Los Angeles provides us with an unimpeded view of the current state of individualistic modernism and the kind of city it creates.
In this volume, Wolfgang Koelbl traces the archetypal scenery of the city of Los Angeles, identifies the grand ambitions of modernism, and organizes them into a coherent sequence. In doing so, it becomes apparent that the modernism of today will not develop into a new architectural state of matter, but has instead entered its twilight years.
This end-times modernism is intoxicating because it is built on comprehensive competence. More first-class modern buildings, first-class failures, and first-class postmodern architecture are being built than ever before. What is less intoxicating, however, is that this means modernism has fulfilled its core aims, suddenly freeing us to look at the great work to be done beyond it—which is comprised of unavoidable confrontations with catastrophe.