eric owen moss architects: cactus tower
eric owen moss architects: cactus tower eric owen moss architects: cactus tower
jul 22, 2011
eric owen moss architects: cactus tower


‘cactus tower’ by eric owen moss architects, culver city, california
image © tom bonner

 

 

while in LA, designboom had the opportunity to visit eric owen moss architects’ ‘cactus tower’, located in culver city, california. sited adjacent to an existing 1940’s warehouse, the fifty-foot tall unit originally functioned as an industrial press.


image © tom bonner

 

 

symbolic of the drought tolerant greenery on the west los angeles skyline, the design is the result of combining an environmental advocacy position with an outdoor space and a new truss typology.


meeting area with potted cactus canopy above
image © tom bonner

 

 

stripped back to expose its original steel framework, the tower has been repurposed as an outdoor meeting area for the production company who occupies the abutting building. once wrapped in a corrugated metal, the unit has been re-conceived as an open web of steelwork and plantlife.  


detail of structural framework and pots
image © tom bonner

 

 

a new platform is installed mid-way up the tower, providing a canopy that defines the communal space. the new structure is composed of 28 steel pots, each holding sufficient earth for a single, mexican fence post cactus. arranged in a grid, every pot-line is a linear sequence of five cacti, and a new structural truss that spans from one edge of the original steel skeleton to the other. in the center, two pots are omitted to allow for the penetration of natural light into the gathering area below. irrigation lines and lights are integrated into the system and are invisible from ground level.


view from below
image © designboom

 

 

the original 30,000 square foot warehouse has been converted into a multi-purpose production studio. a variety of open and closed conference facilities, private offices, post-production venues and relaxation accommodations are housed within the existing shell of the unit. three glass roll-up doors line the perimeter walls, opening onto the ‘cactus tower’ outside, while bridging indoor and outdoor environments. 


the pots are aligned in a grid
image © tom bonner

 

 

be sure to check out designboom’s article on the ‘samitaur tower‘, which we also visited while in culver city.


converted interior of existing warehouse
image © tom bonner


reception
image © tom bonner


second level
image © tom bonner


approach
image © designboom


night shot
image © tom bonner


site plan
image © eric owen moss architects


plan
image © eric owen moss architects


section through pots
image © eric owen moss architects


section through pots
image © eric owen moss architects


elevation
image © eric owen moss architects


elevation
image © eric owen moss architects

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eric owen moss architects (11 articles)