Monday, January 24, 2011

Eric Owen Moss's Corner of the World with the Addition of Samitaur Tower

Looking like five Suessian hat boxes balancing precariously on top of each other is the Samitaur Tower located in a burgening Culver City, California. With views of many of architect Moss's 15 other ingenious buildings located throughout the city, the tower sits adjacent to a new light-rail line, under construction and expected to open by 2012. With a projected daily ridership of 27,000, this new infrastructure brings with it a large, and largely captive, audience.

Developers Laurie and Frederick Samitaur Smith have spent 25 years developing this once-blighted section of Culver City into an urban center of art and culture. The tower will be used as a viewing platform to overlook the city, but its primary objective is to distribute art and other relevant content to the local and the in-transit audiences passing by. “We wanted to stabilize the neighborhood, and introduce jobs, architecture, and art,” Frederick Samitaur Smith says told Architect Magazine. 

Part Dr. Suess, a touch of Mad Max with a hint of Water World, Samitaur Tower’s form is defined by five offset steel rings, which are cantilevered off of steel beams at the rear. The gap between each ring level is bridged by differently shaped panes of a milky colored acrylic and optical-film assembly, which, when viewed together, form an irregularly shaped rear-projection screen. Riders of L.A.'s imminent light-rail line won't need to rely on their iPads for entertainment. The panes of acrylic serve as projection screens, which will showcase films and video art for commuters' pleasure.

The programming for the Samitaur Tower's five screens is still under consideration, but whether it's Van Gogh's Starry Night or a classic film on display, everyone will have something to watch. The different screens were engineered and oriented to cater to different audiences: one to drivers, one to pedestrians, another to passengers of the light rail, and still another to people sitting on concrete bleachers in a below-grade amphitheater. {Via Architect Magazine}

 Read more here and see other works by architect, Eric Owen Moss at his website.

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