Christopher Hawthorne

Columnist

Christopher Hawthorne has been the architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times since 2004. Before coming to The Times, he was architecture critic for Slate and a frequent contributor to the New York Times. He is the author, with Alanna Stang, of “The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture.” Hawthorne grew up in Berkeley and has a bachelor’s degree from Yale, where he readied himself for a career in criticism by obsessing over the design flaws in his dormitory, designed by Eero Saarinen.

Recent Articles

  • Consider the social-architectural context of LACMA's 1965 design

    Consider the social-architectural context of LACMA's 1965 design

    It's one of those tidbits of Los Angeles architectural history that can seem minor or hugely emblematic, depending on the context. In April 1965, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened its new campus on Wilshire Boulevard, designed by increasingly prolific hometown architect William Pereira....

  • Robert Schuller: A patron of modernist architecture

    Robert Schuller: A patron of modernist architecture

    He began with a drive-in church designed by Richard Neutra located just three miles from Disneyland. Over time he added a telegenic cathedral by Philip Johnson and a shimmering, cylindrical "hospitality center," with an auditorium and cafe, by Richard Meier. Robert H. Schuller, the evangelist who...

  • Robert Schuller: A patron of modernist architecture

    Robert Schuller: A patron of modernist architecture

    He began with a drive-in church designed by Richard Neutra located just three miles from Disneyland. Over time he added a telegenic cathedral by Philip Johnson and a shimmering, cylindrical "hospitality center," with an auditorium and cafe, by Richard Meier. Robert H. Schuller, the evangelist who...

  • Peter Zumthor's plan for LACMA undergoes makeover

    Peter Zumthor's plan for LACMA undergoes makeover

    It still crosses Wilshire Boulevard. But in other ways, architect Peter Zumthor's plan for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has undergone a significant makeover. Once a free-flowing, biomorphic design inspired by the La Brea Tar Pits and the work of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, the...

  • Toyo Ito's architecture beckons a critic to Asia

    Toyo Ito's architecture beckons a critic to Asia

    Jet lag can do strange things to a person. But it wasn't just a mixed-up body clock that had me awake at 3 a.m. during a trip to Japan a few years ago, madly scrolling through online ferry schedules and trying to plot a route by train, boat and taxi to a new architecture museum on the southern...

  • Los Angeles public space is rambunctious again; let's dress it properly

    Los Angeles public space is rambunctious again; let's dress it properly

    "The public sector stopped making public space a long time ago," Los Angeles architect Jon Jerde told Wired magazine rather matter-of-factly in 1999. Jerde, who died last month at age 75, was best known for projects that were both resigned to and propelled by that idea. Among the most influential...

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