Building: Gateway Art Tower
Location: Hayden Ave. and National Blvd., Culver City, California
(Los Angeles area)
Completion: Under Construction
Architect: Eric Owen Moss Architects
Structural Engineer: Arup
Total area: 1,486 square feet
Total height: 72 feet
The Gateway Art Tower is under construction on the corner of a prominent intersection in the center of Culver City, California; a suburb of Los Angeles. Along with the roadway driving by the tower, there is also a city plan that a new mass transit Light Rail Line to also pass. The surrounding urban fabric is comprised of largely underdeveloped industrial and warehouse buildings dating from the 1940’s. Over the past 20 years, however, the area has been the subject of an unprecedented urban renewal project mainly headed up by the architect Eric Owen Moss and developer which includes a business complex and multiple commercial and cultural projects.
The new structure will function in many different capacities. As and entrance “Gateway,” the project will announce the arrival of visitors to the ongoing Conjunctive Points development, and as such, will be a visually arresting sculptural object. As an “Art tower,” the primary role of the structure will be to communicate culturally significant content to both the visitors to the development as well as to the greater Los Angeles community.
The Tower will be composed of a series of conical screen segments made from an advanced rear-projection polymer that will afford vibrant, large-scale images to be projected and fully coordinated from within. Multiple floor levels occupying the space within the screen elements can function equally as informal gallery space, cafes, and viewing platforms.
A garden/amphitheater will be constructed at the base of the tower for small lectures.
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. Projection screens at each floor are to be seen from cars on surrounding surface streets, from freeways, by passengers at train stops, from on-board the moving trains, and from area pedestrians at a variety of key walking and viewing points. Between each pair of staggered horizontal circular steel plains, the curving, conical projection screens are installed. Behind the screens, hung from the tower floors are a number of digital projectors, 12 in all, that will rear-project onto the translucent acrylic screens.
The base of the superstructure will be constructed entirely from standard steel sections and 1/2” steel plate. The steel assemblies will be shop constructed in large segments and delivered to the job site for erection. At the base, a deep foundation system composed of poured-in-place concrete piles and a continuous pile cap will provide support.
Inside the screens, steel decks are provided for viewers to look out at the city, and for a maintenance staff who will service the projectors and screens.
The Tower has a glazed elevator in an enclosed glass shaft, and an open stairway to the top, so 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.
“Rotation of Structure”
Katz, Marisa. “Power Tower.” Wallpaper Apr. 2009: 157.