Vespertine, Culver City, United States

Wednesday 4 Apr 2018
Credit: Tom Bonner

Architects: Eric Owen Moss Architects

A tower with a twist

This impressive waffle-like structure will serve as the home of an exclusive restaurant in Culver City, California

According to Eric Owen Moss Architects, the designers of this unique project in California, “A preliminary study model made from a square pile of note paper, described the concept for a tower which was not quite a regular box, nor a clear, spatial departure from the regular box. Rather the model suggests a conceptually soft geometry, or better, a twisted tower.”

Located in Culver City, the tower twists along its height – rotates slightly, both clockwise at the top and counterclockwise toward the bottom. The plan shape and size is maintained as the tower volume pivots. The curvature of the form is conveyed by the horizontal and vertical steel plate grid that frames the glass enclosure. As the curvature increases, the spacing between plates is decreased to maintain the planar glass panel subdivision.

The proposed glazing system is composed of horizontal and vertical ‘fins.’ Glazing components were never curved, so the outer curving surfaces are conveyed as the aggregate of the plate steel fins. This new structure will serve as the home of an exclusive restaurant.

The internal structural frame closely follows the exterior shape. Four corner columns undergo a series of compound miters to reflect the curving form. The building consists of a ground floor, a mezzanine, a second floor, and an open-air roof deck connected by an internal stair and elevator.

The restaurant entrance is marked by a pool lined with concrete blocks, formed to a curve, and filled with water. Guests enter at the ground level and are escorted to their seats on the floor above. The mezzanine level serves as the main dining floor, an intimate setting with seating for only 22 patrons upon custom built steel banquettes surrounding CNC-milled translucent acrylic tabletops. As guests exit they will pass by a curved 26 ft long table, suspended from the mezzanine and second floor ceilings, which delivers a keepsake upon their departure.

An outdoor garden of equal footprint as the tower is located to the east. The garden consists of mounded earth, concrete tables and stairs, and planted flora to serve as an outdoor gathering space for casual dining and cocktails.

A secondary support building, the Wedge, will be built to the west of the site, abutting the original warehouse structure.

The WAN Metal in Architecture Award 2018 is open for entries 

Click here for more details or email wanawards@haymarket.com

Nick Myall

News editor

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