Location

Los Angeles, California

Program

Office

Size

57,000 square feet

Dates

1996

Awards

Progressive Architecture Design Award1992
AIA/LA, Design Honor Award, 1996
Los Angeles Urban Beautification, Award, 1998

Key Publications

Gnostic Architecture, 1999
Eric Owen Moss - Buildings and Projects 3, 2002
The Uncertainty of Doing, 2006

Photographer

Tom Bonner

The Kodak Headquarters Office Building in South Central Los Angeles utilizes the air rights space over a private road in Los Angeles as the building site. The road continues to operate as a conventional road, and the new building is an air rights structure above, one of the few such projects to be constructed over an automobile right-of-way in the United States. The new building is supported on a steel column and beam system, fifteen feet in the air above the road, to allow sufficient vertical clearance for trucks and automobiles to pass underneath. The air rights building is a simple, rectangular block, 110 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high (the height limit in that area of Los Angeles), supported by steel pipe columns, and girders that span the original road width. The new columns land either on the road outside existing structures, or within the adjacent buildings that adjoin the road. Existing buildings on either side of the road are remodeled to provide additional ground floor office space for Cineon Kodak, the original building tenant.

There are two geometric anomalies in the otherwise rectangular building block. First, the double cone, entry and exit stair, outdoor lounge and roof deck spaces on the southeast corner of the project, identifying the building from the access road from which cars enter the site. The second spatial exception to the block is the west-facing, pentagonal courtyard, with open-air bridge, pool, fountain, and outdoor employee seating, that cantilevers over the automobile egress road directly below.

The interior plan for the building in the air includes open and closed office space and conference rooms. On the ground are the multimedia classrooms, lounges, open offices and production space. In the center of the rectangular block building is the bathroom and utility core, one of two double height volumes within the otherwise regular floor to floor height structure.

The remodeled sawtooth roofed building at the end of the “under the building” access road holds Kodak’s commissary and classroom spaces, and the elevator lobby that leads to the 2nd and 3rd floors of the new office structure. Off the elevator lobby on the 2nd floor is a double height conference space that looks west to the Santa Monica Freeway, Wilshire Boulevard, and the Santa Monica Mountains, providing a sense of orientation to what is so often a more complex, less intelligible vision of Los Angeles.