Calif.’s New City wins AIA’s 25-year award

Conjunctive Points – The New City, Culver City, California, designed by Eric Owen Moss Architects, wins the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA’s) 25-year award. Photo © Tom Bonner
Conjunctive Points – The New City, Culver City, California, designed by Eric Owen Moss Architects, wins the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA’s) 25-year award.
Photo © Tom Bonner

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has honored Conjunctive Points – The New City, Culver City, California, designed by Eric Owen Moss Architects, with its 25-year award.

The award is conferred on a project that has set a precedent for the last 25 to 35 years and continues to set standards of excellence for its architectural design and significance.

Initiated in 1986 within the Hayden Tract, a former industrial site bounding Central Los Angeles and Culver City, Conjunctive Points – The New City began as simple additions and subtractions to an existing collection of warehouses. With architect Eric Owen Moss designing or renovating one eclectic building at a time, the project set contemporary standards for adaptive re-use, launched the concept of creative office space, and positioned architecture as a method to uncover new social and civic opportunities.

The land developers Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith had acquired a significant collection of buildings along the tract, many of which were vacant wood-framed, long-span warehouses, and manufacturing spaces. The resulting exchange of ideas across three decades has reversed the area’s plummeting property values and rising crime rates and become a subject of study for the planners, architects, and policy-makers who are rethinking cities.

8522 National Boulevard, the first project Moss designed in the Hayden Tract, set the architectural and organizational precedent for what is now known as Conjunctive Points – The New City. At first, Moss’ careful remodels and idiosyncratic buildings with playful, singular names—Umbrella, Beehive, Pterodactyl—attracted small start-ups and young entrepreneurs providing music, graphics, advertising, and post-production services. Since then, major companies such as Nike, Converse, and, most recently, Beats, GoPro, and Apple, have followed in the neighborhood. In an area once devoid of purpose, Conjunctive Points – The New City has prompted significant job creation with an estimated 15,000 newly employed workers. It remains one of the Los Angeles area’s most desired office locations.

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