Vladimir Gintoff

MArch II

As Found: The Museum from Ordinary Forms in Los Angeles

Advised by Sharon Johnston

In his series of paintings, Course of Empire, the artist Ed Ruscha narrates the perpetual flux of warehouses in Los Angeles. Pairs of canvases, the first created in 1992 and the second in 2005, show the rise and decline of various box-like buildings, which house various familiar and mundane functions: the trade school, the factory, the tire store, and the telephone booth. In Ruscha’s work, the ubiquity of ordinary architecture in Los Angeles becomes revelatory; the banal is seen as if never before. 
 
This thesis embraces the utility of the industrial shed and considers it to be the ideal incubator for a new type of cultural institution, one that weaves together spaces for consuming, producing, and learning about art. Situated in a stretch of the Los Angeles River with a dearth of nearby museums, this edge connects distant areas of the city, north and south, and anticipates new connections, east and west, with a new Gehry-designed platform park, creating a new point of confluence in the city. 
 
Repurposing a set of known and recurring dimensions for local light industrial buildings and creating interiors based on existing plans, a new type of production space is created as an arts campus. A table-like canopy above the shed structures allows for a vast zone of in-between spaces that promote novel heterogeneity and mingling of constituents. Sectional variation allows for the shed to evolve while still maintaining its tried-and-true appearance of prosaic consistency. Citing Alison Smithson, who coined the term “mat building,” this project anticipates a “new and shuffled order, based on interconnection, close-knit patterns of association, and possibilities for growth, diminution, and change.” 

Museum sign on top of building

Rendering of the corner of a building with a sign on the side that says “Theater 1”

Aerial view of a densely-built city landscape with highways bisecting vertically and horizontally. The center area has several blocks highlighted in yellow.

Panorama of the building’s south facade showing entrances, loading zones, and a box truck.

Rendering of a courtyard with columns and trees, showing the intersection of School and Museum Program.

Rendering of the corner of the building next to a roadway, showing the intersection of loading zone, theater and the street frontage.