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Eric Owen Moss. By Christene Kommer Margaret Gonzalez YooMi Jang Vivian Wong. Biography.

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Eric Owen Moss

By Christene Kommer

Margaret Gonzalez

YooMi Jang

Vivian Wong

  • Eric Owen was born in Los Angeles California in 1943. He started his architecture practice in 1973, having received his B.A. from UCLA in 1965, his master in 1968 from UC Berkeley, and his Master in Architecture in 1972 from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He is best known for reinventing spaces for commercial uses and performing arts facilities, breathing new life into marginal area in the celebrated sequence of buildings in Culver City’s Hayden Tract.
  • He recently won an international competition for the Queen Art Museum, and is currently working on the redesign of the 2000 seat Mariinsky Theater in the historic center of St. Petersburg.

Body of Work

  • He was named “ Top Architect of a new generation” and “ the jeweler of junk” by eminence gris Philip Johnson, Moss pays careful attention to detail, both in terms of the way things are put together, and the materials they are made from. As New York architect Charles Gwathmey stated in the 1999 awards ceremony of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, “ the architecture of Eric Owen Moss is highly original. The forms and spaces embody a poetic vision, enriched by a rigorous tectonic commitment. The buildings are resonant and inspiring, and through their inventive presence, establish a sense of pertinent place.” The work includes university facilities, office buildings, corporate headquarters, cultural institutions, theaters, galleries, exhibition spaces, restaurants, urban public space, housing, and private residences.
  • Moss received the AIA/LA Gold medal in 2001, and his work has received numerous Progressive Architecture, AIA/LA design awards. The firm’s work has been widely published, including four monographs and a CD-Rom. He has taught at all the leading U.S. schools of architecture, including Harvard, Yale, Rice, Columbia, UCLA, and USC.


Moss’ affiliation with SCI-Arc began in 1974, when he joined the faculty. He has taught continuously since then, and served as a member of the board of directors. He intents to continue SCI- Arc “ traditions of non tradition,” moving the school forward by imagining the future of architecture, and setting up a school in which students can find their individual paths. The design strengths and talents of Los Angeles have fed many generations of architects, and Moss intents to “ feed L>A> to the world,” building on these explorations and investigations. He sees SCI-Arc as the place where architects devise radically new responses to the real needs and aspirations of today’s world.




  • Current Projects include:
  • The New Marlinsky theater in St. Petersburg. (1)
  • The Queens Museum of Art Design in NY.(2)
  • Jeff-Jeff high rise towers in L. A. (3)





Completed Projects include:

Stealth in Culver City, CA. (4)

Offices for a post-Production Film Firm (5)

The Beehive (6)

A parking and Garage Facility (7)





The Niche?

Moss’s “niche” or nature towards his architecture is to understand and reflect upon the language of the building relative to its program , and to the environment. He studies all aspects of the problem such as context, site, clients programs, and incorporates the innovations into the design of the project.

Moss’s specialties include designing “university facilities, office buildings, corporate headquarters, cultural institutions, theaters, galleries and exhibition spaces, restaurants, urban fabric and public space,”(



  • Moss is the recipient of over 40 design awards from Progressive architecture and the American Institute of architects as well as the 1999 award in architecture from the American Institute of Architecture.
  • He also received the 2001 AIA/LA Gold Medal Award for the achievement on an outstanding body of architectural works in LA and Abroad.

Other Facts

  • As director of the southern California Institute of Architecture, and a prominent lecturer at Universities such as Harvard and Yale, It is obvious that his work influences many aspiring architects as well as other colleagues in his field. Moss himself was originally influenced by other architects such Gehry, Wright, etc…
  • Technological innovations such as the creation of AutoCAD, 3D modeling, and graphic interface software's have allowed for Moss and his firm to create many project conveniently on computer, to be stored as data, and easily transferred to other sources and media through internet or FTP software. Also 3D Modeling software allows for realistic images of the buildings being created, which helps Moss convey to his client what he is trying to accomplish.
  • Other technological innovations that help both in design and construction is the invention of reinforced concrete and steel.

Other Works

Non-Architectural hobbies and works include:

  • Designing his own line of furniture.
  • Teaching and lecturing at many universities including Harvard and Yale.
  • Occupying the position of director of the Southern California institute of Architecture.
  • Writing his own book and creating his own CD-Rom

Works Cited

  • All Images Taken From and are property of Eric Owen Moss Architect.
  • Information –