Chris Burden Builds a “Small Skyscraper” in Old Town Pasadena

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Chris Burden's <em>Small Skyscraper</em> (Sam Lubell / AN)

Chris Burden’s Small Skyscraper (Sam Lubell / AN)

Next time you visit old town Pasadena you may be in for a suprise. When you slink down an alley off of Fair Oaks and Colorado, the next thing you see will be a four-story, 35-foot-tall skyscraper, sitting in the middle of a courtyard. It’s an installation by artist Chris Burden (yes, he’s the one that did the cool lights and all the matchbox cars at LACMA) called Small Skyscraper (Quasi Legal Skyscraper).

Burden collaborated with LA architects Taalman Koch on the open design, which conists of slabs of 2x4s supported by a thin aluminum frame. Burden started envisioning the project back in the 90s, but at that time the idea was for a solid structure made of concrete blocks. This one is lightweight and seems almost like an erector set. Presented by the Armory Center for the Arts, Small Skyscraper will be on display until November.

(Gregory Michael Hernandez)

(Gregory Michael Hernandez)

(Gregory Michael Hernandez)

(Gregory Michael Hernandez)

3 Responses to “Chris Burden Builds a “Small Skyscraper” in Old Town Pasadena”

  1. Tom marioni says:

    CB a great artist

  2. Kiernan Quinn says:

    I am glad someone used structural studding finally in a viewable place. I have tried for years to build with structural studs for cost and ease of building. Most engineering houses refuse to accept the sysytem and go to steel. Their reasons were that structural studs were unbillable to their sysytem. That indicates two issues, one that there is a public billing system that allows billings for experimental work and double billings for actual work and second, that innovation is actually locked out of billings. I discovered this at an MIT company Shaw Stone Webster that was sold to Shaw Group in an illegal divestiture of MIT alumni assets. That indicated to me that Chuck Vest was hired by the US gov to be an MIT President for 20yrs to steal the alumni access to innovation. Apparently the “key” that pays for innovation only works with an MIT architect, but allows for engineering billings by any engineer. By allowing others to occupy an MIT property they stole rights to this billing service. Problem is that you or I were never made aware of it as Licensed Architects. Why? I am an MIT Architect and forced to retire with no payments made for my work. So, it could happen to you out there if its a pattern action. The Shaw group is filled with foreign nationals and state department refugees. So, its completely absurd, illegal and world fraud. When you go unemployed and see it, you will see the absurdity. I tried to market a shed with steel, aluminum or that system and was given no funding and had no responses. Check it out on my youtube: thetrmultimedia. Its stupid, but the design could meet any building type and allow a house to cost 5,000usd.

  3. Stephen says:

    @KQ, so, you’re saying there’s something like a structural steel cartel determined to keep structural aluminum out of the business? or is it just bureaucracy?

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