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revisiting the caltrans building

By Eric Richardson
Published: Sunday, December 26, 2004, at 10:02AM

The LA Times today comes back to the Caltrans building, talking about how some occupants think the fancy exterior led to skimping on the inside. I have heard that before, that the project's limited budget led to the bulk of the design money going into the shell of the building, leaving little imagination to the office space inside. I don't really have a take on the water fountain situation... If Caltrans is giving people free bottled water that seems fine, but I don't really know what the case is. I haven't taken much opportunity to come back and address the Caltrans building now that it's occupied...

If you've read my previous take on the subject, you'll know that I really didn't like the building. I'm still not 100% sold on it, but I think in the name of fairness I owe it to whoever finds their way here to note that it does look worlds better now.

This evidences itself in two ways: lights, and perforation in the giant metal screen. Obviously people working inside the building are going to need lights. As they turn on those lights the exterior casing gets a less uniform coloring. That really helps. But also as people need light they'll open up their little window through the metal curtain. That too breaks up the building's exterior. And that really was my biggest complaint: the building was just too solidly uniform and dark. Now it's less so.

Take that for whatever you will.

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