LA Times assesses ELA

Noting that one’s first impression of Emerson Los Angeles may be of “the alien popping out of Sigourney Weaver’s stomach,” Christopher Hawthorne, The Los Angeles Times’ architecture critic, nonetheless gave the building high marks. He praised the “impressive, monumental and supremely self-conscious” structure for its connection to Hollywood history and its boldness in an architecturally risk-averse city. Hawthorne called it a triumph for Morphosis, the firm led by acclaimed architect Thom Mayne that designed ELA, for which the college has paid at least $5.9 million in the past four years, according to its federal tax statements. But he noted that the design, by “preening for the cameras,” overlooked the important aspect of interior space, which he wrote was particularly lacking in the “charmless, efficiently Spartan concrete dorm rooms.”