Eric Owen Moss Architects, also known as EOMA, was founded in 1973. The 25-person, Culver City-based firm designs and constructs projects in the United States and around the world. Over the last 38 years, Eric Owen Moss Architects has designed a variety of award-winning buildings that continue to reshape the discourse of international architecture.
That never-ending “what is architecture?” discussion continues to manifest itself in the Eric Owen Moss office in the production of new city plans, the design of new buildings, and exhibits, lectures, publications, and teaching around the world.
1. First And Broadway Park
An icon is a surprise, an unanticipated perception, one that is intriguing but not immediately recognizable, a concept that suggests a precedent for what’s new rather than a model that follows the usual antecedents.
So an iconic park becomes an invitation to visit and investigate, to join, to explore, to wonder, and to learn.
The park is for groups and the park is for individuals.
The park is for large and small gatherings.
The park is for staged and impromptu events.
The park accommodates activities we know.
The park facilitates activities to be invented.
The park design has two essential landforms or typographies, one that conforms to the existing grade, a gradual slope from north to southeast. The first type, the exhibition zone, describes that portion of the site with direct pedestrian access from Spring, Broadway, and Grand Park. The surface is decomposed granite. The exhibit area accommodates the fabrication, assembly, and viewing of cultural and educational installations, and pavilions of every sort.
The second typography is a planted landscape that departs from the natural grade, offering the visitor alternate landforms and use options. The exhibition area is a continuous material surface. The landscape area, in contrast, offers gradual slopes, horizontal plains, abrupt depressions, and terraced landforms – an adventure inland shaping. Pedestrian paths crisscross the landscape, not practiced and regularized patterns, but rather an exploratory journey across the site. Paths have a range of widths and directions, on a discovery journey as the land surface is explored over time. The rolling topography has a sense of unpredictability, less a park we know, more a park that invites us to find out.
The First and Broadway Civic Center Park is the adventure that awaits
2. Sberbank Technopark
The project is closely linked to nature. Gardens surround the exterior of the Technopark and serve both public spaces and office zones. The project perimeter is framed by a series of terraced plazas of stone and landscaping. This semi-public zone serves as a transition between the surrounding natural landscape and the Technopark. Open courtyards within the office area provide outdoor break areas and sports zones for worker recreation. The integration of landscape in and around the building allows the inhabitants and guests to expand their workplace by going outdoors, or in colder months, by establishing a visual connection to nature.
The internal building circulation is circumscribed across the entire site in a curving promenade that connects to office modules distributed throughout the project. The multi-story volume is the primary public activity zone of the project and connects offices, display areas, conference rooms, vendors, negotiation rooms, and the rest of the major program elements both vertically and horizontally.
Flexible and modular office bays may be easily reconfigured to accommodate changes in size or reorganization of project teams.
Every office area has an important and different view option. There are outdoor views from office area via internal courtyards; the perimeter glazing; large windows on the mezzanine levels; and expansive elevated views from the conference towers. In addition, there are continuously variable views into the open Central Hub zone that provide natural light from the internal circulation zone.
The Pterodactyl is an office building for an advertising agency atop a parking garage in a complex of new and remodeled buildings in Culver City, Los Angeles. The perceived relationship of the two uses from the primary west elevation emphasizes the office building presence and minimizes the visibility of the parking garage.
The parking structure is the conceptual podium for the office building. Buildings in the area are three floors or less, so the office building on the roof affords spectacular views of the entire city from downtown to the Santa Monica Mountains to the Westside of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. The 800-car, four-level parking structure is straightforward and inexpensive construction – steel frame, metal decks, regular bays, and ingress/egress ramps at opposite ends of the west face of the project. The required fireproofing of the structural steel was treated as a finish material and precisely applied to the steel frame.
The office building is formed by the intersection of nine rectangular boxes, lifted one level above the garage roof, stacked either on top of or adjacent to each other, along the west edge of the garage roof. The nine boxes organize essential program elements connected by an interior, second-floor bridge. The underside of the boxes is cut to accommodate an open plan on the main office floor below. The boxes are supported on the steel column grid extended from the parking structure
The main office floor is rectangular in plan and enclosed with a glass wall that extends vertically to meet the elevated boxes one level above. The main floor is an entirely open plan, while the second floor is subdivided between open working areas and enclosed conference rooms and private offices, as the program requires.
4. Guggenheim Helsinki
Museum visitors enter the Guggenheim Helsinki designed by Eric Owen Moss Architects via an Entry Gallery spanning the site from north to south. The Entry Gallery is surrounded by a public park containing the Entry Garden and three Sculpture Gardens.
Event Buildings are placed above each Sculpture Garden to protect outdoor art from direct exposure to the elements. Each Event Building is internally subdivided to provide the various Public Programs of the Museum.
Above the Entry Gallery, three large Gallery volumes join the Event Buildings. The center of each Gallery volume is open for large exhibitions and can be subdivided in a variety of ways. Above, operable louvers control indirect natural light into the galleries or darken the gallery. Smaller spaces line the perimeter edge of the Gallery volumes and contain Secondary Galleries, Open Storage, and Administrative/Building Operations uses.
The Event Buildings provide direct access to a landscaped roof which defines scenic outlooks throughout Helsinki.
5. Warner Parking And Retail
The conversion of the existing industrial buildings into bustling creative office space, as well as the addition of new office structures, requires a substantial increase in parking space. The new structure will supply 800 additional spaces.
In addition to the parking, 40,000 square feet of retail space and a 10,000 square foot restaurant will be located on the interior perimeter of a five-sided, three-story, open courtyard space. The three floors of retail and space and the three-story courtyard volume are positioned roughly in the center of the upper floors of the parking structure. Two full levels – floors two and three below-grade – are filled with parking. The restaurant level -1, one floor below grade, retail level 0, at grade, and retail level two, above grade, are directly accessible from parked cars on those floors or from stairs and elevators that connect all garage floors to walks and bridges on all retail levels.
The courtyard is open to the south, and on the west, north, and east is surrounded by the inclined glass walls that enclose the three floors of retail space. An entry bridge on Warner Avenue allows pedestrians to enter the courtyard and proceed to the retail directly from the street. The garage is also entered directly from Warner.
The redesigned Angewandte by Eric Owen Moss Architects will replace the closed ends with a continuous walkway of architecture, art, and design events –studios, seminars, assemblies, informal discussions, and leisure spaces – circling forward and back over a variety of paths, replacing a fixed conclusion with an open and flexible prospect.
The new design proposal eliminates the closed organization at the south ends of Schwanzer and Ferstel by introducing three bridge-blocks — glass-enclosed trusses, stairs, and new program space — that span the garden, east to west, connecting all floor levels of Ferstel and Schwanzer with a series of continuous circulation and activity loops. Each of the three new bridge-blocks includes assembly, studio, and leisure areas, and conceptually associate the existing circulation and interior atrium volumes in Ferstel with a new pair of new double-height volumes to be provided in the Schwanzer building addition.
The new design proposal re-organizes the garden and adds three, partially submerged buildings within the garden. The roofs of these submerged blocks, partially landscaped, coincide with the floor level of the lobby, enabling building occupants to walk directly south, out of the lobby to the upper garden level, and down the new hillside gardens to the lower garden walk. The lower garden level coincides with the first basement floor of Schwanzer, which, now opens to the garden.
7. Albuquerque Railyards Master Plan
The 27.3-acre site was designed and constructed by the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad (AT&SF) as one of four repair and maintenance facilities for its fleet of steam locomotives. Built between 1880 and 1930, the facility contains approximately 18 historically significant structures that have been abandoned since the 1980s. At one point during its history, the Rail Yards employed over 20% of the population of the City of Albuquerque, becoming both. The site and buildings are currently under consideration for the National Registry status.
Eric Owen Moss Architects were responsible for the Master Plan design in conjunction with selected Master Developer, Samitaur Constructs, and the City of Albuquerque who currently owns the site. The approved Master Plan includes the adaptive reuse of a large majority of the historic structures combined with new infill development, providing a total development envelope of approximately 880,000gsf. Allowable uses include High-Tech and Creative Office, Research and Development Laboratories, Light Industrial, Cultural Facilities, Retail, Workforce Housing, and Public Open Space. When complete, the redevelopment of the Rail Yards will be a model of adaptive reuse, historic preservation, and sustainable design.
A preliminary study model made from a square pile of notepaper describes a concept for a tower which is not quite a regular box, nor a clear, spatial departure from the regular box. Rather the model suggests a conceptually soft geometry, or better, a twisted tower.
The tower twists along with its height – rotates slightly, both clockwise at the top and counterclockwise toward the bottom. The plan shape and size is maintained as the tower volume pivots. The curvature of the form is conveyed by the horizontal and vertical steel plate grid that frames the glass enclosure. As the curvature increases, the spacing between plates is decreased to maintain the planar glass panel subdivision.
The proposed glazing system is composed of horizontal and vertical ‘fins.’ Glazing components were never curved, so the outer curving surfaces are conveyed as the aggregate of the plate steel fins. This new structure designed by Eric Owen Moss Architects will serve as the home of an exclusive restaurant.
9. Samitaur Tower
Conceptually, the tower has both introverted and extroverted planning objectives. Internal to the burgeoning site area of new media companies, graphic designers, and general office tenants, the tower will symbolize the advent of this important new urban development, provide a changing art display for local viewing, and offer a variety of graphic content and data on its five screens concerning coming events and current achievements of the tenants who occupy that part of the city.
Externally, the tower displays culturally significant content and local event information, along with art and graphic presentations of all sorts available to in-car audiences who pass the site area, traveling on a number of local thoroughfares in the Culver City / West Los Angeles area. In addition to a large number of cars passing the site, the Expo Line has an estimated ridership of 30,000 passengers per day with two local stops several blocks east and west of the site. The presence of the train riders guarantees an enormous daily audience of Tower art viewers, as well as an increase in pedestrians in the area, who will walk past the Tower from the train, stops to local businesses.
The project is 72 feet high, measured from grade, and includes an open-air, excavated, concrete seating and staging space at its base that begins at minus 12 feet, and housing for all the electronic and media related equipment for the Tower. The tower consists of five circular steel rings, approximately 30 feet in diameter. The rings are stacked vertically at 12-foot floor-to-floor intervals, and, as the height increases, the rings are staggered in plan, back and forth – to the north, east, south, and west – in order to establish proximity and viewing angles for various levels at various heights.
10. Jose Vasconcelos Library
The design strategy by Eric Owen Moss Architects for the Biblioteca de México extends the organizational systems of the surrounding neighborhood into the building, thus suggesting new prospects for public participation, interactive learning, and exhibition opportunities.
The site is first connected from north to south through the new “Calle de Los Libros.” The surrounding streets extend onto the site and intersect with this New Street, forming the main organizational system for the New Library.
At each intersection of Calle de Los Libros, a courtyard is created demarcating an activity center within the library, and also serving as a large outdoor reading room. The walls of these courtyards slope southward to bring sunlight into the courtyard and the library.
The main entry, located at the Southern corner of the New Library, is folded and lifted five stories vertically to create a new plaza that connects the Biblioteca de Mexico to the Buenavista Train Station.
11. Mariinsky II
The design strategy by Eric Owen Moss Architects for Mariinsky II originates from two perspectives at two scales:
The first defines the project as a new structure within an existing urban order, from the “outside-in”; the second originates from the performance hall itself, from the “inside out”.
The design conception for the New Mariinsky Theatre offers an opportunity to conceive a substantial cultural contribution to historic St, Petersburg, a city about to begin its fourth century. To unite the two – the presence of the past and the promise of the future – is the intention of the project we present to St. Petersburg in May 2003.
The organizational relationship between the two theatres is reflected in the selection of materials for the New Mariinsky. The lower structure on the west, south, and east will be finished with smooth green/grey granite panels. The taller structure comprising the hall and stage is to be constructed of poured concrete with a smooth finish and a delicate green mixture.
The new lobby formed by the three contiguous glass modules is metaphorically kinetic.
The form of the New Mariinsky lobby is simultaneously dependent on directional associations with key points in the city – the idea of the “outside-in”- and obligated by its internal program requirements like lobbies, walkways, lecture halls and gathering spaces – from the “inside out”. The resulting interior space is a unique spatial and processional event. It’s curving glass surfaces are climbing 43 meters through a shimmering volume whose dimensions continuously expand and contract as space rises toward the light and the sky.
St. Petersburg is known as Russia’s “window on the west”.
The symbolic use of glass in the New Mariinsky Project follows logically from the historic conception of the city as a window. But this 21st-century “window” – the public lobby and the performance hall of Mariinsky II – is no longer a simple east to west view. It now rather becomes a metaphorical opening for multiple perspectives: from past to future and future to past; from outside in and inside out; from city to lobby to house and vice versa, from the first Mariinsky to the second, and the second to the first.
12. New City
Eric Owen Moss Architects and owners Frederick and Laurie Smith have been at work on this urban re-design project since 1988.
The planning conception includes a portion of Central Los Angeles bounded by the Ballona Creek, La Cienega Blvd. and Jefferson Ave.; the Hayden Tract area of Culver City along Hayden Ave. and National Blvd.; and the neighborhood east and south of the intersection of Washington and Ince Boulevards in Culver City.
Together with the three sites which include forty-three buildings – constructed or in the process – are an evolving master plan for reconstituting a deteriorating central city industrial and manufacturing center.
There is no fixed master plan, but there are changing notions of purpose, site use, and building organization. Over the years, the governing principles have remained fluid so that, depending on the status of planning, design, and construction in a particular area, several concept plans are in operation simultaneously.
Projects are never defined as single buildings on single properties. Rather, fundamental design decisions always include large scale strategies for land use, pedestrian and vehicular movement, and a sense that we must accommodate a continuously changing city.
The New City is both unique and archetypal – unique to its three Los Angeles and Culver City sites, and generic in that it embodies a number of conceptual perspectives applicable to the re-design and re-inhabiting of the many post-industrial urban areas in the United States and Europe.
13. Gasometer D-1
On the outskirts of Vienna, adjacent to the autobahn that leads to the city airport, are four cylindrical, masonry walled tanks called Gasometers, each 60 meters in diameter and 65 meters high. The tanks, all with steel ribbed, wood covered domed roofs, were built in 1896 to hold natural gas supplies that were then piped into the city. The neo-classical exterior of the Gasometers was designed to suggest that the tanks served a more conventional living and working purpose rather than industrial use.
Because of their longevity and historic role in the built symbolism of the city, the exterior facades of the tanks have become protected monuments in Vienna and must remain intact
The conceptual strategy by Eric Owen Moss Architects for positioning housing in the tank was to divide the internal housing volumes — discrete “buildings” within the Gasometer” — into triangular wedge-shaped towers with light wells in between. The wedge form originates from the drawing of radial lines from the plan center of the tank to the circumference, creating the radial, three-sided housing solids, and voids that are distributed around the entire perimeter. At the base of the Gasometer is the Penta-sphere, constructed of multiple, five-sided panels that, in the aggregate suggest the shape of a “sphere” composed of plainer surfaces. The irregular, pentagonal panels vary in size, suggesting that the construction of the analog sphere volume is an experiment, made here for the first time so that the rules of assembly are learned in the process of building.
14. Queen Museum of Arts
The design strategy for the Queens Museum of Art uncovers the organizational strengths of the original building and simultaneously suggests new prospects for public participation, exhibition and performance space.
The Main Event space will be open and flexible. The original floor is removed and the earth excavated, leaving a bowl, gently sloping toward a theoretical center at the base of the Panorama. Temporary seating, oriented toward the Panorama, can be placed within the bowl – an (almost) theatre in the round. Exhibits can be mounted variously over the sloping surface – “stages” within the “theatre” or hung from the trusses above.
Connected to the Main Event space by a carefully orchestrated promenade are the bookstore and café, the Panorama, the World’s Fair and Tiffany’s permanent collections, and the temporary gallery spaces. A new public circulation ramp climbs the exterior wall of the Panorama enabling views of the Main Event from above. From the second floor, a second ramp up the face of the Panorama provides access to a glazed, multi-purpose exhibition, performance or meeting space with views down into the Panorama exhibit, the Main Event, and the surrounding site. Screen(s) may be attached to the ramps so that film or video may be viewed in the space or projected through the glass to the park outside.`
Unique among the temporary galleries is the double-height multi-purpose space that allows a variety of changing exhibits to be installed. For the largest exhibits and performances, the main space and gallery can be used continuously by opening the five vertical lift glass doors that divide the space. Individual exhibits or performances can be segregated in countless ways through the use of flexible and moving partitions. Spanning the double-height and Main Event Spaces are two catwalks, facilitating object hanging, projection and lighting.
15. Perm Museum XXI
PERM MUSEUM XXI represents a historic architectural moment for the Russian city of Perm, a long-time military city that sits at the western foot of the Caucasus Mountains on the line that separates European from Asian Russia. The new museum represents the advent of a contemporary perspective for Perm, and a rejection of its insular, military-dominated history. The closed city will become an open city, and the construction of the new museum will mark that important transition.
The proposed new building designed by Eric Owen Moss Architects makes two iconic gestures: one, the building as a bridge over the land; two, the building as an extension of the land that reaches skyward.
The Museum site is conceived as a public park within which the new building is sited. To the south, the City. To the north, the Kama River. In between, the Museum in the park. And not in the park: the Museum is conceived as an extension of the park with terraces, walks, and landscaped roof decks that unite the building with the landscape.
The land is reconfigured to provide two excavated “Canyons for Art”, one east, one west of the centrally located entry lobby and forecourt of the museum. Pedestrians proceeding east and west on the Okulova Street Walk or arriving at Okulova from the Popova Promenade – the proposed south-north pedestrian route to the site — can pass on either side of the public lobby, and descend northward, under the building that bridges the excavations, into the “Art Canyons”. These canyon passageways lead under the building, down a series of art display terraces, then under the tracks, and down to the river’s edge. So it is possible to view art in the park along the river without entering the building.