In the most recent New Yorker, architecture critic Paul Goldberger reviews Eric Owen Moss's work at the Hayden Tract (subscription required) in Culver City, where the architect has completed 20 projects and has six more in the works. Goldberger is generally positive on the idea-driven architecture (although he thinks Moss "has a lot of [Frank] Gehry's formal inventiveness, but without Gehry's crowd-pleasing panache."), but applauds especially "the creation of a genuine urban transformation through architecture." That's thanks to patron-developers Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith: "Frederick Samitaur Smith, a former journalist and screenwriter, told me that he wanted to make real-estate development into a vehicle for social change. 'I wanted to build a community where architecture was integrated into the place,' he said. In 1986, he walked into Moss's office--he was one of his tenants--and found him reading T.S. Eliot, whereupon he decided that Moss was his man."
Twenty-four years later, "the tenants include enough advertising agencies, design firms, and media businesses to make you think that Richard Florida had been the leasing agent." But Creative Class critical mass aside, the Hayden Tract is still "as car-dependent as the rest of the city and just as lacking in meaningful outdoor public space." Goldberger thinks that could be somewhat corrected by the forthcoming Expo Line. Also arriving soon is the
Samovar Samitaur Tower, which he writes will be "a punctuation mark" for the neighborhood.
· Neighborhood Watch Abstract [New Yorker]
· Eric Owen Moss Archives [Curbed LA]