L.A. is a city unlike any other. It took me a while to wrap my head around it and I am still not sure if I fully understood it after all. But I liked it more each day and can not wait to go back.
Los Angeles is definitely the city to get into architecture tours if you’re not already a fan. I did two tours in one day that turned out to be quite different. The first one was the Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Feliz, built in 1919–1921. It was a very spontaneous decision to go there, I booked a 1-hour docent-led tour on the same day and paid $7. We were a group of five and the docent, an older gentleman, turned out to be a brilliant guide. The tour ended up taking half an hour longer because we had so many questions. And I am obsessed with Hollyhock flowers ever since.
For second tour of that day, we went up to the Hollywood Hills to see the Stahl House, designed by architect Pierre Koenig and built in 1959 as part of the Case Study Houses program (also known as Case Study House #22). I had booked this tour months in advance to get a spot and paid $70 for two. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a tour, it was more that someone opened the door of the house for us. But the views are simply stunning and if you don’t know any Hollywood stars who are based in that area, it might be tricky to get to this part of town so it is a great opportunity.
The Marciano Art Foundation in Midtown is amazing. The private collection of the Marciano brothers, the founders behind the 90s denim brand GUESS?, has a strong focus on Californian art and features some outstanding site-specific permanent pieces like the painted staircases Trees by Nicolas Party (who I adore). And the building is definitely unique. Admission is free but you must book a time-based ticket online in advance.
A quick note on galleries since I just saw two: Hauser & Wirth in the Arts District and Sprüth Magers in La Brea (next to Lacma). I was curious to see SM’s space in L.A. since I’m a big fan of the gallery in general and same is true for Hauser & Wirth. The latter is more of an arts centre than a gallery which you might already know. It is pretty great though. It features a nice shop with small editions, some chickens and a restaurant called Manuela. If you are in the Arts District, you should eat at Bavel–our dinner there was beyond delicious.