Glass Tower / Eric Owen Moss

The glass tower by Eric Owen Moss Architects is encouraging the re-development of South Central with this project. The building has been in planning since the nineties but was stalled for some years until it was re-designed in 2006 as a single tower.

A rail line installed nearby spurred the redesign. The structure is part of the redevelopment of South Central LA, an area plagued with poverty and violence for many years. The project was originally conceived of with a structural strategy, consisting of curvilinear ribbons wrapping two main volumes.

The new design remains very similar with the same ribbon theme, but as a single volume. as the area’s only high-rise, office tenants will enjoy wide, open views of the city. a train stop sits directly outside the building, but car parking was also a main concern for the architects. The aforementioned ribbon scheme provides the building’s structure, making each floor completely open. The ribbons are made from steel tubes filled with concrete. Each floor was the same flexible plan but comes in three distinct heights of 13, 16 and 24 feet, to offer further flexibility.

Seen at designboom. More images after the break.

Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "Glass Tower / Eric Owen Moss" 25 Apr 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • efedz

    oh yeah, no doubt it’s an Eric O. Moss project.

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  • boko


  • tommy

    I’ve always appreciated Moss’s work, but I’m not so enthusiastic about this project. Not that Moss’s past work is readily coherent, this seems more disjunctive, less energetic, and particularly tame.

    The renderings present the scribbled envelope in a more superficial character than I would expect from Moss. Rather, you’d expect him to weave that sh!t through the structure one too many times. Instead, the project comes off as a Mossian applique on an otherwise run-of-the-mill tower.

    It’s hard to say much more without knowing if there’s more than these renderings actually convey. Moss has done better and I’m sure he will again, but this taint it folks. I’ll have to take a look around. Anyone have any further information?

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  • Fino

    I guess the “inspirations” from Beijing’s birdnest is finally starting to appear in recent projects. I don’t mind for architecture to be an object at times, but a shouting object is one thing. There are a lot of “whys” that I want to ask. It’s just so unclear and haphazardly presented.

    that is all.

  • Marcus

    I agree with Fino. I like the Ribbon scheme but it could’ve been implemented a little better. Especially if it provides structural support for the building.

  • vincent

    I’ve been expected Eric’s project fora long time.

  • David

    Jeweller of junk

  • Bonus

    As a graduate of SCIArc and a long-time sufferer of all idiosyncracies Moss, including absurd interruptions of reviews while talking obnoxiously sonorously and pompously and at the same time donning ugly fluffy sweaters around his neck, I must just chime in here and say this is very half-baked. It doesn’t seem to have any idea in which era it is existing/borne from. I don’t speak much Spanish but I believe ArtTrend (above) is making a point about this being a horrible version of Herzog & DeMeuron’s Bird’s Nest and that would be correct if this came even within range of such a vision. There is no clarity and not enough obsession here to warrant a discussion of intent. One of Moss’ former project architects and I had a discussion about Moss’ projects sometimes needing to pursue an idea, regardless of its merits or meritlessness, to such an extreme point that they inevitably all become horrendously ugly. That was, in some way or another, interesting. This project, though, is – in the words of one critic whose ego I will not stroke by naming here, in a very mean-spirited critique of a student’s project – “This project is ugly but not in a way that is interesting enough to talk about.”

  • Fino

    Very nice Bonus

    that is all

  • Terry Glenn Phipps

    Well, I have been looking at this since the 1980′s and I have yet to figure out what is going on. Once upon a time I was invited to sit on a review panel at Sciarc with FOG, EOM, and Thom Mayne. Now that was a revelation. FOG was kind and helpful, wanting to make good architects who would go on to make good architecture. The rest I will leave to your imagination.

    What is this really supposed to be? I guess you might read freeway topography, kind of spaghetti bowl, in this structural banding? The thing is it comes of looking really defensive, as if it were a reaction to its location rather than a response.

    Even the language referring to the adjacent railway terminus and the ample parking suggest that this has nothing to do with South Central other than being there. To me the vibe is “Fort Apache, The Bronx” or Baghdad Green Zone.

    What a pity, because this is a significant architectural opportunity that has been absolutely squandered.

    Terry Glenn Phipps

  • INawe

    architectural masterbation.

    all i can say is hopefully this project will help attract more developers and money to south central los angeles. they need it.

  • zarza

    Putting aside the ‘wrapping’ , which is I agree not well executed, what is here but another absolutely ordinary developer office block? For a city that positions itself as a center of creativity, where is there something new in this design, some fresh interpretation of the office building like Nouvel’s Torre Agbar? This is 100% been there done that.

  • gx

    this design looks like beijings bird nests. youre not an architect. youre a copy cat.

  • Bertold

    in response to Bonus, I have recently been accepted to SCIArc am an international and am struggling to come up with the finances to attend the institution. I just wanted to hear your opinions of the school, and if you consider it a worthwhile investment? What is the percentage rate of students acquiring work, and how would you rate the education you received? Albeit this is not the most attractive building I have seen, it is more interesting than most that are being put up in my country. If anyone is aware of any scholarships/grants I could apply to as well that would be very helpful.

  • Lucas Gray

    Having the floors completely open without columns is a great idea and innovative. However, I agree it is ugly and I am not sold that building an office tower in that area is the best response to context and going to revitalize the district. It will probably be a giant sore thumb for decades to come.

  • Leroy

    One thing that i see interesting is its verticality as in oppose to its surrondings and to me, it seems like a blockage between both sides of this building. i would agree that this building its ugly. maybe more information on the purpose of the ribbons rather than just structural support will help.

    response to bertold
    i just finished my first year in sciarc as a undergrad, if you are looking for college life, there is nothing like that in sciarc, but i think this school is still relevant. my 1st year was quite fun and workload for sure its a lot, i dont know if its only first year or just me working too slow. and…..the three plotters suck LOL

  • Leroy

    more information about the glass tower on EOM website, under “current” tab

  • Hery

    Mosss Mosssss … are really…..lost….!

  • CY

    Hey, did someone toilet papered this building?

  • archdork

    somehow it’s yet bit too weak to send iconic imagery to public. what was he thinking?

  • sullka

    I once tried to like EOM, during my first semesters of architecture, trust me I tried, but couldn’t, it’s was like trying to smoke because it was cool or something, but you really hate the smell and how nauseated made you feel.

    15 years later, I don’t smoke, nor I like EOM.

  • Bonus


    Good one.

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