Just Above Sunset
May 1, 2005 - Spatial Ambiguity













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You have been to Culver City before in these pages - February 13, 2005: The Other Film Capital of Southern California - a photographic tour of Sony Entertainment complex down there – the Sony Pictures, Columbia, Tri-Star studios that used to be MGM - home of Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.

 

But Culver City is an architectural adventure.  Take the Hayden Tract.  This is Culver City 's largest and oldest industrial area that has been changed over the last few years into a assorted group of odd businesses - from traditional manufacturing to design and entertainment-related firms.  And there is a lot of Eric Owen Moss down there.  The businesses?  Everything from Ogilvy & Mather to the  Debbie Allen Dance Studio to Smashbox Cosmetics.

 

Who is this Eric Owen Moss?  Here are a few words - 

 

Eric Owen Moss was born in Los Angeles in 1943. He received Master of Architecture degrees from both Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and the University of California at Berkeley's College of Environmental Design. He has recently held professorial chairs at Yale, Harvard, and appointments in Copenhagen and Vienna, in addition to Sci-Arc [Cal State Northridge], where he began teaching in 1973 and is currently on the Board of Directors. Moss opened his own office located in Los Angeles in 1973.

 

His work, which spans the realms of both the public and private sector, has been lauded for its formal experimentation and its exploration of spatial ambiguity. In an attempt to stretch space, a challenge Moss describes as architecture's perpetual prospect, Moss has created buildings, which in their attempt to overcome gravity and structural instability continue to defy common notions of the conceivable and reasonable.

 

… His work is an attempt to build, very judiciously, the effort to comprehend - a very intense endeavor in spite of the fact that it's not likely to be successful. "I put the building out there and people pick it up and misunderstand it, sometimes in imaginative ways. But they never pick it up exactly the way I put it down. I think that has to do with seeing and what precedes seeing - how you look at something and understand it, or not, as a consequence of either what you bring to it or what it can teach you; a way of learning to think that you don't yet know."

Philip Johnson has described Moss as a "Jeweler of Junk." More than likely Johnson used this term to describe Moss for the way he combines different materials in his projects when he is exploring the complexity of his spaces. Spaces which are greatly misunderstood due to his extensive and unexpected experimentation with materials and forms.

 

See also Culver City Colony - work of Eric Owen Moss in Culver City - 

 

The Stealth Building, home of Ogilvy & Mather –

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Umbrella -

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Beehive (AOL occupies the space)

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Trivida (window)

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Across the street…

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Other…

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If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me.  
 
Note: To see an actual-size high-resolution version of a particular photograph, click on the image.  You will see the full image in a separate window. 
 
These were shot with a Nikon D70 – lens AF-5 Nikor 18-70mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or AF Nikor 70-300mm telephoto.
 
 































 
 
 
 

Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
 
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