Tag Archives: cool buildings

The Royale Building … Los Angeles

On a recent visit to WiSpa, a sprawling Korean day-spa complex in Los Angeles, we spied from the spa’s rooftop lounge the top half of an elegant, old high-rise building in the distance. Atop the building was its name, Royale, in large, dark blue letters.

The building is a New York-style apartment building officially known as the Royale Wilshire. It stands out in the otherwise gritty urban landscape of its neighborhood, a blighted area tucked between the fringes of Downtown LA and Koreatown. Buildings of this style, size and age are rare in Los Angeles and harken to a bygone golden era of Hollywood glamour.

In spite of our many years of frequent visits to L.A. and living in the city part-time or for short spells, we’d never seen the Royale. A renovation of the building is planned as the neighborhood itself is slowly shedding its shabby skin and giving way to the gentrification wave. We imagine the building will become re-discovered landmark as the neighborhood’s profile rises in the years ahead.

Architecture … Tadao Ando’s 21_21 Design Sight Building in Akasaka, Tokyo

The sleek, low-slung gray structure that is the 21_21 Design Sight building in Tokyo’s Akasaka neighborhood was created by two giants of Japanese design, fashion designer Issey Miyake and architect Tadao Ando. Opened in 2007, the building is the home to design exhibitions and events curated by a group of directors that includes Miyake and renowned designer Naoto Fukusawa.  The museum is a little oasis of calm, minimalist post-modernism tucked on a well-groomed patch of landscape behind the Tokyo Midtown buildings complex.







Humboldt Box

The Humboldt Box on Museum Island in Berlin’s Mitte. The building is an “interim” exhibition structure on the site of the future Humboldt Forum, which will be built on the same site and completed in 2019.