Opening tonight in Los Angeles at the WUHO Gallery: Inside Marina City: A Project by Iker Gil and Andreas E.G. Larsson. For more than two years, Iker Gil and Andreas E.G. Larsson documented the lives of residents in the non-Euclidean geometries of architect Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic Marina City (1959-67) in Chicago. Celebrating Goldberg’s original vision for affordable apartments in a central, high-density location, this revealing series of photographs provides a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the diverse array of people and living spaces within these popular cylindrical residential towers.
Inside Marina City comes to WUHO Gallery at a time when controversy about another Goldberg icon, Prentice Women’s Hospital (1975), is in the news. Architects, critics, and preservation groups are lobbying the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to save the building from the wrecking ball. Both Prentice and Marina City pose a challenge to traditional architectural aesthetics. The debate and documentation around these buildings can serve as a lesson for Los Angeles, a city that is increasingly faced with issues of late-Modern preservation. Gil and Larsson’s illuminating compositions reflect their respective training and professional interests. Spanish-born Gil is a Chicago-based architect and founding principal of MAS studio whose research-based portfolio includes buildings, public spaces, as well as more theoretical projects. Larsson, a Swedish-born photographer, now residing in Los Angeles, is known for his visually expressive portraits of musicians, dancers, and other creatives featured in publications such as i-D, GQ, Nylon, and The New York Times. Drawing on their individual backgrounds, these photographs read like case studies that explore relationships between Goldberg’s rigorous modular framework for the apartment units and the gradual, informal development of interiors by their inhabitants.
Unlike the vacant landscapes of traditional architectural photography or the scripted architectural scenes of such masters as Julius Shulman, Gil and Larsson’s Marina City “portraits” let the apartment dwellers speak for themselves. At the same time, however, they communicate Goldberg’s architectural ideology by drawing attention to the poetics of form and materials, calling out elements such as the sculptural quality of the concrete walls, which delineate the rooms in the units, as well as the organic forms of the balconies, which encourage the inherent play between interior and exterior spaces that have come to define the towers. The result is a rich portfolio of images that pay tribute to Goldberg’s visionary architecture and affirm his place in Chicago’s rich architectural history while placing at the fore the inhabitants who bring these spaces to life.
Exhibition: Inside Marina City: A Project by Iker Gil and Andreas E.G. Larsson Location: WUHO Gallery in Los Angeles, CA Opening: Thursday, October 4 at 7PM Closing: October 28, 2012 Gallery Hours: Thursday: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Text courtesy of the Woodbury School of Architecture.