Pterodactyl an inspirational landmark for a Media Agency | The Plan
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Pterodactyl an inspirational landmark for a Media Agency

Eric Owen Moss

Perched on the roof of a parking garage, Pterodactyl is part of a much broader urban transformation project. The warehouses and depots that once characterized the Hayden Tract industrial district of Culver City are being gradually redesigned and remodelled, changing not only their outer appearance but also their use. Similarly, landscape revamping has reorganized vehicle and pedestrian routes. Tackled in successive stages, the regeneration programme aims to create buildings that dialogue with one another and together form an architecturally cutting-edge quarter focused on creativity and functionality.

The area’s makeover is the work of the Eric Owen Moss Architects practice. The intriguing weave of recognizably older, industrial-shed buildings with the ultra-new has resulted in a new architectural landscape of considerable interest where the different “objects” dialogue with one another on several levels.

Designated somewhat dismissively as an office building, Pterodactyl is the latest in a series of new buildings. Although their evocative names reflect decidedly singular styles, together the Stealth, Umbrella, Slash and Backslash combine to form a unique and unified urban fabric. Physically and metaphorically, Pterodactyl sits above them all, commanding sweeping views of the landscape in several directions. Set on the top of a multi-storey car garage, it occupies the district’s central east-west axis to become the main local landmark.  The parking garage on which it stands is a mundane, low-budget construction, completed in 1988. A regular parallelepiped structure, it has ingress and egress ramps on the north and south sides and car access lanes on the west face. Its open structure leaves the decks on the various levels and steel frame open to view. The flat roof is also a top-storey open-air car park. The steel columns protruding from the roof seem almost to suggest that another stacked level is in the...

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