The New City: Which Truth Do You Want to Tell?
Thursday, October 21, 2021 | 12:30pm ET
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Discover Conjunctive Points—The New City, winner of the AIA Twenty-five Year Award 2020, with architect Eric Owen Moss, FAIA.
The project began in the mid-1980s in an area of Central Los Angeles and Culver City consisting of industrial and warehouse buildings that had been abandoned as industry moved abroad. The once vital manufacturing area was in serious decline as property values plummeted and crime rates increased.
Along with clients Laurie and Frederick Samitaur Smith, EOMA set out to develop a strategy to reconstitute the former industrial zone, utilizing its built assets, eliminating its social and economic liabilities, and imagining a constructive concept for a new model for urban revitalization. One building at a time, warehouses were transformed into venues for a wide range of creative enterprise.
Viewed individually, the projects represent a wide array of architectural and technical achievement that has been discussed, published, awarded, and studied around the world. More important (and sometimes overlooked) is the collective value of these singular architectural works as a progenitor of radical urban transformation in the neighborhood.
The project set a contemporary standard for adaptive re-use; a standard for change-in-use without substantially altering the scale of the 27-acre neighborhood; a standard for sustainability in terms of the careful remodeling rather than replacing of existing structures; and most importantly, in an area touched twice by the LA riots, a standard for job creation. Currently, an estimated over 15,000 workers are newly employed in an area that 35 years ago was empty of purpose. The unprecedented project has made Conjunctive Points – The New City a model for city re-thinking around the globe. It continues to be a subject for study in municipalities around the world and regularly hosts tours for politicians, policymakers, urban planners, and architects.
The late architecture critic for The New York Times Herbert Muschamp wrote that “Moss’s projects strike me as such a form of education. The knowing spontaneity of his forms, the hands-on approach implicit in their strong, sculptural contours, the relationship they describe between a city’s vitality and creative potential of its individuals: these coalesce into tangible lessons about how a city should face its future.”
In 2020, Conjunctive Points was awarded the AIA Twenty-Five Year award. Presented by AIA Committee on Design (COD).
- Learn what differentiates the conceptual design premises of this ex-industrial area from other like areas around the world and are the governing design principles of the project transferable to other venues or are they unique to this area.
- Evaluate if the project suggests a conceptual master planning model that would be applicable to other urban venues around the world.
- Evaluate to what extent is the project understandable as an exhibition of individual pieces of architecture; to what extent is the project an example of the coalescing of buildings to form a coherent urban zone?
- Learn if the evolving role of public transit, the Expo line, automobile use, and pedestrian circulation influenced the changing organizational conception of the area?
AIA, NOMA, NCARB, LEED AP
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