University of Pennsylvania, PennDesign
critic: Neil DENARI.
assistant instructor: Jonathan SCELSA.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Olga KARABINECH & Emily TYRER: This high-density development in Culver City has three programmatic neighborhood zones: cultural (museum, art school and student housing), live/work (office space, housing, retail) and entertainment (hotel, department store, luxury housing, and a market near the Expo Metro station).
The boundaries between these programs are porous, however, as the project reads as a continuous mat from which silhouettes emerge and disappear depending on the viewer’s angle. The massing strategy alternates between subtractive and additive moves, gradually building up urban tissue and unifying disparate masses through excision. A plasticity of form emerges which encourages meander—as the user traverses the terrain of the Noir city, he experiences moments of surreal juxtaposition of program. The city is not what it seems—a flat, billboard-like figure seen from one angle dissolves into a dizzying mosaic of facades, seemingly flattened yet peeling back into a vista over its own undulating form. One is simultaneously within and without, easily connected to Los Angeles but in the self-contained world of the Noir city.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
OK & ET: Neil Denari, Takashi Murakami, Preston Scott Cohen’s Tel Aviv Museum, Andy Warhol, Kenneth Price, and Ed Ruscha.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
OK: Reading Francois Blanciak, Siteless and LA [Ten]: Interviews on Los Angeles Architecture. Watching Mulholland Drive.
ET: Reading Reyner Banham, Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies. Watching Blade Runner and Drive.
OK&ET: Serial podcast
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
OK & ET: Morphosis, UNStudio, NMDA, and Tom Wiscombe.