A Tree Grows in West Hollywood

Posted by on April 13, 2012

When I gave tours of the set of the TV show I worked on for years (at some point, I became the go-to tour leader), I pointed out the earthquake resistant cross-bracing that the designer had included.  It was a great detail that subtlety reinforced the fact that our show was set in Los Angeles. In fact, if you are watching TV and see cross-braces in an exterior shot, it was probably filmed in LA, even if the show is set in Chicago.

Now, I am not positive what these lovely porcelain trees are covering, just “internal structures necessary according to rigorous building codes.” But if this is the future of exposed duct-work and the like, I am all for it.

This is the new West Hollywood public library, featuring ‘Platanus Bibliotechalis by David Wiseman.

I have never been a fan of letting the building’s internal structure show once the inside is finished. I am all for moldings, casings, plaster bits and bobs, and smooth surfaces.

However, this is a step beyond. Wiseman has transformed code-mandated structures into art.

Wiseman based these porcelain trees on local sycamores and an ancient species of tree that may have grown where the library now sits. He named them Platanus Bibliotechalis and they invite library patrons to ascend to the library’s upper floors.

Wiseman attached copper, brass and steel leaves to the branches, as they grow toward the 60 foot skylight.

His work is a lovely addition.

all photos from frameweb

by photographer Mark Hanauer

One Response to A Tree Grows in West Hollywood

  1. Danie at Pasadya

    Unbelievable. This is amazing!