New York City is the great American Metropolis and Los Angeles is the Sprawlopolis. Never again in the history of the world will we build something like New York. All cities will look and feel like Los Angeles. The car did this and there is no going back. But while we repeatedly build LA we desire the urban village of NYC because at some point we have to get out of our car and then we want the community, the people scaled spontaneity, the tiny found serendipity of a human scaled city slowed down to the step of our feet. Our goal is to find these moments and the paths that got us to them. Use it all to bring about a place that initiates complexity while restoring the cohesion of the village.
But we also desire the speed and freedom being alone allows. And we like the innovation and excitement of a crowd.
We are fickle- we crave change- we seek affirmation- we want to be part of a story. And a good place should read like a story. One that pulls the best moments observed together and sets the character on a path of self discovery and wonder. Architecture shapes this path, but it is the nature and quality of the open space- the space between- that shows us the arc of what is possible. The armature is this arc. It is a circulation of sequential experiences; it allows for change; it gathers a crowd; it generates electricity and brings life to a project.
Imagine the best night of last year. What made it so good? Was it the energy of the people you were with, the memories of the food you tasted, the warmth and scale of the space, the kiss you never thought you would get?
It was all of them and architecture plays only a role. A good project helps to make that best night and a good development encourages most of it to happen within the same project. A diverse and cleverly planned program gives potency to a project since it initiates all of this to happen. Program is literally what is happening! Eat, Drink, Sleep, Talk, Make Love, Watch, Swim, Do Nothing. The more the better and it should happen 24 hours a day. Retail and Art are the programmatic glue that bring anticipated uses together. Retail and Art are fundamental- it is where we hunt and gather.