Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Colorful Horton Plaza

Pete Wilson had his faults, but he also did many good things for San Diego, including revitalizing downtown area with the construction of this psychedelic Horton Plaza. One just can't get bored looking at the place.

For first time visitors, though, this place can be maddening. You can't find a simple way to get from one level to the next and end up circling the entire complex a few times before finally getting to the floor you want (there are 2 elevators, but they're tucked away on the east side of the building). Once you've familiarized yourself with the place, though, there are many benches and hidden corners where you can perch in while amusing yourself watching the newcomers do their circling around bit.

The mall is owned by Westfield. The newly renovated Balboa Theater isn't a part of the complex, though. The music in the clip is the air-check recording of Vesselina Kasarova singing Mozart's Lied, an Chloe (KV 524) from her January 2006 concert with the pianist Charles Spencer... at Vienna Concert House.


berenice said...

hola mister Smorg

great little post on the Horton Plaza, and yes indeed it's an interesting place, i studied 1 year of architecture in Mexico City, in order to be accepted in the Industrial Design program, so i know a little of this style of 'experience architecture', I personally think the architects did a great job, even if the place is confusing to navigate, sure it's fun!

the style reminds me a lot of Ettore Sottsass style, an architect and designer from Italy that made soo popular the "post-modern" style in the 80's, he mixed old styles such greek columns with colorful robust geometrical shapes of bright colors...

one thing i don't like about the mall though, is that the confusion transfers to the parking lot!! first i thought it was cute that we have vegetables and fruits to locate your car, and while it's fun being lost among store in the mall, is not so much fun looking for your car in the parking lot, sometimes you are in a level where you can actually see your car, but you can't get to it!! a bit frustrating, after almost 9 years of living in San Diego and visiting a couple of times a year this mall, i still get lost in the parking lot when not accessing through the same entrance...

here some of my Horton Plaza shots



later, will catch up with the rest of your lovely blog

Georg said...

Hallo Smorgy,

That's certainly an interesting spot to visit and with the cherry on the cake Berenice's comments on above.

This place is chaotic, a bit from everything though I did not see a Greek temple or a Gothic cathedral. But that could be because those two were not psychedelic.

I am a bit astonished that both of you use the word "architecture". To me, a. means form, kind of "Leitmotiv", coherence in diversity. Here, the coherence might be that there are everywhere some flat parts that enable the people to pass from a to b and then c and then.........

Well, I am just kidding, Smorgy. It's a chaotic fun place and many cities would be glad to have something like that instead of the bare concrete buildings or corrugated squares you find everywhere else. Even here, at least in the subburbs.

Could not warm up to the Mozart song. Where does it belong to??


Smorg said...

Hiya bella Berenice & Herr Georgy:
Now that I don't have to contend with that parking structure, I'm liking Horton Plaza's colorful labyrinth more and more indeed. ;o) That place just doesn't get old on you.

I wish it has an entrance from G St rather than making you enter from Broadway, 1st, and E St... but then I think they made it that way to make it easy on the security guys when downtown was still a rather scary place, ay?

Hey, have you been to the Disney Music Hall in LA yet? I had a good look at the exterior when I went up to see an opera at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion a few years ago, but didn't go in. I'm really getting the taste for curved buildings. ;o)

Ha! I bet you'd love having a stroll around this mall, too, Georg. If you ever drop by in town I must insist on taking you on a sight-seeing trip! :o)

Oh, the song is one of the fun German Lieder Mozart wrote for his friends, I think. It doesn't belong to any particular work. The dude really composed everything (except for rap, apparently ;o) )!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope the weekend has started well your way!

Smorgy :o)