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What About Occupants?

February 07, 1988

Sam Hall Kaplan's column (Jan. 31) is right-on as far as it went in addressing the concerns of architects, who seem only to content themselves with exteriors, interaction of neighboring structures and massing.

What of the occupants and neighbors of these structures? By Day 2 the occupants' principal concerns will revolve around the elevator systems, air conditioning, lighting and plumbing. The neighbors will wonder about the worsening traffic and the poor parking.

What innovations does the design show? It is nice but not architecturally bold and does not attempt to solve the problems of the infrastructure in which it is located. Let us reiterate those concerns and ask, will structures of the 21st Century pose solutions? How will this massive development address the mundane problems whose solution enabled the creation of cities?

We need more roads and transportation, production of energy, increased capacity of our sewage treatment and water conditioning plants, and better power grids. The occupants of the facilities want better work environments, with facilities that work and work well. Not one of these concerns is addressed by any of the participants.

In analyzing the present problems, perhaps the architect is not the right design professional to be the master of the project. Perhaps Los Angeles as the premier city of the world should address this by insisting that these problems yield to local solutions.

J. N. BATAL

Agoura

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