Eric Owen Moss has shared photos of his self-designed private residence overlooking the coastline on a small 30’ by 50’ plot in Los Angeles’ beach-adjacent Pacific Palisades neighborhood.
The former SCI-Arc Director’s new A+M home is inspired by the Case Study homes published by John Entenza in Arts & Architecture magazine from the mid-1940s through the early-60s and the later direction of Barbara Goldstein, who featured Moss’ early Petal House renovation in that same publication’s pages in 1983.
Per the architect, the four-story, 1,950-square-foot house is "organized around a central sky-lit atrium that makes the transformation in shape visible on the west side and provides floor-to-ceiling glazing as one makes their way up the stairs on the east side."
"The perimeter walls of the building are in continuous transformation between the two plan shapes — the roof line and the ground line. The change in shape is particularly evident at the building corners which begin at a 90-degree angle at the roof and end as a constant 10-foot radius at the ground. The resultant compound-curving exterior wall profiles are produced by CNC milling all the exterior studs of the house."
"The milled lumber was produced through a direct-to-fabrication process from a Rhino 3D model, delivered on site in sequence with part numbers assigned to each individual framing component, and then erected as a kit of parts."
"After precisely producing this complex wall profile with the framing, it was important to preserve that shape with as little modification, offset, or tooling as possible. We used an industrial coating called polyurea as a single-component covering that provided both waterproofing and exterior finish directly over the wood frame and OSB sheathing. This exterior coating is only ¼” thick, but provides waterproofing, a 300% elongation, and is impact resistant. As far as we know, this is the first time this material has been used in this type of residential application."
An additional street-level intervention has also brought the structure up to code with the city's off-street parking requirement, while simultaneously forming the soffit base on top of which theater seating can be placed to provide for a new drop-down video screen theater space on the second floor.
In a statement, Moss said he sees the project as a more a "personalized conception of contemporary architecture."
Find more photographs and drawings in the image gallery below.
Actually, on a 30'x50' lot, with two covered parking spaces and required setbacks, it is very well resolved. With the now commonly available cnc machinery etc, it is not far-fetched either. Sure, it is (literally) a form bending package but that's EOM, why would you expect something conventional? Certainly, the client knew and wanted that. If you are familiar with L.A specific challenges, you'd appreciate more.
This is exactly the cool yet quirky design you’ve come to expect from EOM. I love the geometric gymnastics of the massing, especially the transformations from straight lines to curves. I’m not a fan of the “moss” green color, the strangely insignificant front door (looking more like a back alley emergency exit), nor the wasted space of the uncomfortable-looking cinema. The interior is a Piranesian delight.
Maybe---- >> The Bored Flippers needed a free stamp
if not taken seriously -- the new house might be a super fun Air BNB oneday
An architect's personal home is a special breed, which might represent a wide range of thoughts and forays, worth cataloging and reviewing, that might not be as neatly resolved as we would like. It needs to make some kind of statement, or many statements. Above, Aalto's Muuratsalo experimental house. Then of course there's Gehry's:
"The client being EOM himself?"
Are you alluding to veiled misinformation? How do you know the architect is also the client?
And, if he is, he can do whatever he likes anyway. It fits his persona. There are clients in Los Angeles who even request even wilder stuff. Here is an earlier design he did for himself like 45 tears ago in Palisades. https://www.laconservancy.org/sites/default/files/styles/hero_full/public/images/heroes/708House_YouAreHere.jpg?itok=dxiq8STj
@Orhan, if the first sentence of the article didn't give it away—"Eric Owen Moss has shared photos of his self-designed private residence"—then a quick Google of the address will confirm pretty quickly. (8th result on my first page shows "Eric O. Moss (trust)" as the current owner.) @others, regarding color choice, the tiny white house across the street (second photo), and a second structure three doors down towards the beach both used to be painted a similar shade of shade of sage. Funny to think maybe they were both repainted white to be more "sellable". @midlander, a quick Google of the diamond house's address will also get you the name of the current owner (7th on my first), who also happens to have designed the house! An "owner-builder" permit with a few friendly engineering stamps.
I’m not sure about the color, although who knows how color-corrected the photographs might be. It likely looks gorgeous in the California sun. The interior spaces are really lovely, and I think the parti around the theater space is cool. I’m also *in love* with the lowered soffit above the bed with the clerestory windows above. That is just dreamy.
<sigh> I sincerely hope I get to design my own house someday. Something cozy and simple with lots of space for displaying art, on a piece of land far away from every Internet commentator in the universe.
There are so many really terrible structures going up in socal I have to admire getting something so odd & peculiar constructed with high quality. Not a fan of the space making, but impressed with the project nevertheless...
"organized around a central sky-lit atrium that makes the transformation in shape visible on the west side and provides floor-to-ceiling glazing as one makes their way up the stairs on the east side."
The house is an exercise in spatial transformation and continuous energies, inviting us to think about the decisions made. I can't go far with this, but the discussion would be involved and complex. As such, it presents a series of propositions and solutions. It is an architect''s exploration.
The atrium itself is an unusual choice for a small house and presents challenges, but that's the architect's desire. A simple, straight glazed solution would split the house, disrupt the movement, and stand stranded. The ascending trapezoids form a triangular shape that anchors the facade and gives a downward counterpoint to the increasing volumes on either side. And it has to assert its difference, so it comes out a bit. Plus, for accent, its regularity contrasts with the irregularity of the rest.
Thank heavens it isn't white. The pastel color subdues the energies and helps the house fit in with the landscape and other homes around, maybe adding a natural note.
A map of James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake served as an example of self-questioning in an artwork, and was related to the type of “investigational architecture” he advocates.
Nicholas Korody's piece is a good read and helps put this project into context.
Yes, I didn't get that it was Moss' own house, but if I did, I don't think my initial comment would be any different.
Completely off topic, I read 'Pacific Palisades' then saw those aerials and thought, huh? This is the gritty, most interesting end/mouth of Santa Monica Canyon, just where a creative tiny house would be expected. The other 99% of PP is nothing like this area, and such a project (and its tiny lot) would be hard to imagine there.
citizen, you are right. this is santa monica canyon, just south of w. channel rd. i worked, just next to golden bull parking lot, at bam cdi (brian murphy) it was fun to work there designing and building interesting houses for the likes of dennis hopper, exene etc.. it was never more than two three of us. i know this place really well. we were used to getting some ocean swimming/surfing during extended lunch breaks and sometimes three martini lunches at golden bull.;)
The Japanese do modern multi-story houses on small lots really well. Superb minimalist landscaping as well.
I was thinking the same thing, many Asian projects have achieved much more on similar-sized sites than Moss did here. Particularly in terms of indoor-outdoor space.
there are quite a few projects in japan of a similar scale, for certain. The one you picked is a relatively generic example; 50/50 chance it is a regular production house from a factory. Not really comparable to EOM in terms of ambition or intention.
Nope, it is from Kouichi Kimura Architects.
cool. his work has a certain potency as a collection, for sure. Still not similar in ambition or intent. If you want an architect to compare, I would look to Kazuyo Shinohara or earlier works of Tadao Ando, itsuko Hasegawa and Toyo ito, which were all quite interior oriented and human centred.
Finally, EOM does a hip roof after hinting at it his whole career!
I love that that's the takeaway from this ;O]
I actually really like the color. The yellow/green makes the house fun and gives some vibrancy to the community .
I can’t help but feel some connection to Erich Mendelsohn’s Einstein tower…not sure what exactly it is, but it feels like it has some of the dna.
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