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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

  • Huntington's new visitor center strikes studiously neutral pose

    Huntington's new visitor center strikes studiously neutral pose

    Across the country, museums are pursuing vast and pricey expansion plans, sometimes chasing more square footage or higher-wattage architectural celebrity than seems entirely wise. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Barnes Foundation and New York's Whitney Museum, to name just three, are...

  • Compelling case for gray at Pomona College's Studio Art Hall

    Compelling case for gray at Pomona College's Studio Art Hall

    There's a large room on the upper floor of the new Studio Art Hall at Pomona College, designed by the Culver City architecture firm wHY, called the "Gray Space." It doesn't have any fixed furniture. It's used variously as a studio, classroom and place for students to hang out; it has polished concrete...

  • ARTIC bullet-train station a curious, conspicuous bit of symbolism

    ARTIC bullet-train station a curious, conspicuous bit of symbolism

    Construction will begin next month on the first stretch of California's high-speed rail network. It will run from Fresno to Madera. Earlier this month, a sleek, glass-wrapped $189-million building that officials are promoting as the state's first high-speed station opened to the public. It's in...

  • Christopher Hawthorne's best of architecture in 2014

    Christopher Hawthorne's best of architecture in 2014

    Here is Christopher Hawthorne's look at the best of architecture in 2014. Progress on remaking the Los Angeles River. The feds chipped in and momentum flowed; in a twist unimaginable even three years ago, river backers are now on Gentrification Watch. San Rocco. The architectural journal, based...

  • The future is in the past: Architecture trends in 2014

    The future is in the past: Architecture trends in 2014

    These were the words of the year in architecture: Basic. Fundamental. Primitive. Ancient. If fashion had normcore — the flaunting of a bland, practical and Gap-like aesthetic, the plain sweatshirt as statement of principles — architecture reset itself this year in an even more fascinating (if occasionally...

  • 'Latino Urbanism' influences a Los Angeles in flux

    'Latino Urbanism' influences a Los Angeles in flux

    Work crews in recent weeks have made major design changes to Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, widening the sidewalks and adding planters, chairs and round cafe tables with bright-red umbrellas where rows of parked cars used to be. The upgrades aim to make the street as welcoming to pedestrians...

  • How Arcadia is remaking itself as a magnet for Chinese money

    How Arcadia is remaking itself as a magnet for Chinese money

    Most Los Angeles architects are lucky if they complete two or three houses by their early 30s. Thirty-one-year-old Philip Chan, who runs a firm in Arcadia called PDS Studio, has already seen more than 75 of his residential designs built across the San Gabriel Valley. He's still not the best-known...

  • Koreatown's cool old buildings point to L.A.'s future

    Koreatown's cool old buildings point to L.A.'s future

    A 1941 Los Angeles guidebook described architect Myron Hunt's I. Magnin building on Wilshire Boulevard, finished two years earlier, as an "elaborate new" department store with shop floors "furnished in shades of apricot" and featuring "indirect lighting effects like those achieved by Parisian artists...

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