July 7, 2021

Phillip K. Smith’s Site-Specific Sculpture in Los Angeles Mirrors Life, With the Help of SOM

With the help of SOM, a site-specific sculpture in Los Angeles by Phillip K. Smith III literally mirrors life.

A CAD drawing reveals how Skidmore, Owings and Merrill anchored Phillip K. Smith III’s Santa Monica Linear into the California property of art collector Dallas Price and her husband, sculptor Bob Van Breda, with three 5-inch-thick steel posts embedded 6 feet into the ground. Image courtesy of SOM.
Folded aluminum, super-light and rigid, creates the structure’s form, which appears like a monolithic rectangle from one perspective but is actually triangular. Image courtesy of SOM.
A 42-degree slope obviated the use of trucks and cranes, there­by requiring hand installation on the residence’s grounds, which also include Skyspace, a viewing chamber by James TurrellPhotography by Lance Gerber.
By day, Santa Monica Linear, nestled amid a 110-foot-tall expanse of green, captures the sky and surrounding foliage in a single continuous band, free from internal structural elements. Photography by Lance Gerber.
The sculp­ture joins Price and Van Breda’s residence, built in 1967 by SCI-Arc founder Ray Kappe, and overlooks their hardcourt tennis court. Photography by Lance Gerber.
At night, integral LEDs and electronic components create a unique color chore­o­g­raphy. Photography by Lance Gerber.
The computer-generated loop lasts 2 hours. Photography by Lance Gerber.
The gradient swaths emulate L.A. sunsets. Photography by Lance Gerber.

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