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June 21, 2013 / Brandon

The Getty: Overdrive

The Getty: Overdrive

I needed a break from some projects to breathe some fresh air and get out of the office. The Getty seemed like the place to go. As a Civil Engineer I had a big grin when I saw what the Getty’s current exhibit was.

I love going to the Getty as pulling up to the parking lot is always special to me. How many underground lots are there? Count them next time you go, 7. How many chances do you get to drive through a lot and go 7 floors deep?That is just beautiful engineering to me. As we descended to the lower depths of the parking lot my heart was racing to see the current exhibit. Overdrive. Yes I think I am crazy for wanting to go see an exhibit where I will go to observe past Architect’s plans. But you know what. I can’t get enough. Understanding what is going through an Architect’s mind means that B+W can make their designs come true. And I really can’t get tired of being exposed to siteplans. So we took the ride up on the train to the top of the mountain. Let me say, during, that ride all I could look at were the swales, the grading, everything. The landscaping is amazing and most people would probably look at the view, but I could not take my attention away from the landscape to my right. To the unsuspecting eye this is how a project should be built. Obviously because no one even notices.

So now we are at the top and arrived at our destination and are hungry. We get some food at the mediocre cafe on the bottom floor. Do not eat there. But I can’t stop to think where we are eating has a great view. We can look down on the garden or view off into the distance through the thick layer of smog and almost see the ocean. Yes that pure blue ocean is laughing at us on the top of this hill.

Finally we anxiously climb the stairs to see Overdrive. This exhibit did not disappoint. I attempted to take pictures, but was told no by security. So I can just leave this to your imagination. Think of recently built major projects in Los Angeles. And then there are write ups about each place with Architect’s plans, renderings by hand, and videos. I am probably crazy for thinking that I can leave the office staring at plans and then be excited to look at past plans for projects. So be it I am crazy. This exhibit is great. Especially for anyone who grew up in Los Angeles. Seeing the scaled models adds to the sense of what previous developers were thinking. Even though we looked at every single exhibit and read through them, and watched the videos, and yes my feet were starting to hurt, we went to go look throughout the museum and get a taste of the garden.

After we looked through the other roaming exhibits, photography, we went out to the garden. Now the only thing that was on my mind was where are the drains for this property. My long history in Civil Engineering has let me know I have worked with others who helped draft the plans for the Getty. Finally I found the drains arranged throughout the dirt paths. I don’t think anyone else cared that I finally found the secret treasure. I was still excited and took pictures. And what happens when I write this up, the pictures are not on my phone. I am shaking my head right about now. As we went around the rest of the property I noticed a lot of little intricacies like cutouts of the guardrails to see the view. The Architect thought a lot about this property. Very little things. Tiny little things. We could see the awesome view because someone, decided to cut out about 5′ of retaining wall to make a guardrail. There is some real skill in that. And I have a feeling that was not an afterthought either. And this was a piece of property that no one goes to. Yes mister Architect, he is a male, some of us recognize your napkin drawings go much further than the cotton they are drawn on.

So what I am left with besides having some newly revitalized energy to design our next grading plan? I took a random picture on instagram and the Getty instagram feed liked my post and said the picture was beautiful, So I leave this post with the unedited picture above. B+W Engineering likes who we work with and pay attention to designs more than anyone realizes.

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