Planet of the Architects

Planet of the Architects

Speaking of Planet of the Apes movies, over at Uncouth Reflections, Blowhard, Esq. reflects, “I Graduated from a Monkey Prison.” He first watches the 1972 illegal immigration fable Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, which was filmed at his alma mater U.C. Irvine to achieve the properly futuristic sterile dystopia look. Then he visits contemporary UC Irvine and takes photos from as close as he can get to the movie`s point-of-view without a crane. 

Thank God for landscaping.

UC Irvine Today

Most of the University of California campuses were built at the nadir of postwar modernism. But, given enough water, trees grow like crazy in California, so the gardeners have managed to hide most of the architecture by now.

UC Irvine, like much of Southern California, was designed by USC architecture professor William Pereira, who was proud of making everything look like a brutalist sci-fi nightmare: 

“Remarkably prolific, he worked out of Los Angeles, and was known for his love of science fiction … Though his buildings were often quite stark and sterile in their appearance (owing largely to the science fiction of the era), they were noted for their functional style with a certain flair that made them unmistakable. He took pride in the concept of designing for the future.”

He’d also worked as an art director on Hollywood movies during WWII.

It`s paradoxical that nothing looks more dated than old sci-fi movies. After a few decades go by, you can tell exactly the year a sci-fi movie was made just from the art direction.