neither here, nor there

Neither here, nor there explores the phenomenon of perception and deception as a critical tool for producing an architectural intervention that evokes intrigue. Visual perception, as the central emphasis of the Optical Art movement, privileged the act of seeing while manipulating the multiple layers of a visual experience. While the basis of the thesis lies within these pictorial methods, the project departs from Op in its attempt to create a physically experiential and immersive environment. Neither here, nor there is situated in the urban core of downtown Los Angeles and claims not only a physical but a visual territory stretching from 4th Street to 8th street and from Flower Street to Spring Street with five specific selected sites. The multiple selections allude to the potential of a larger urban “master plan” that treats the city as a “landscape” with dispersed follies. One site in particular, located on Spring Street, is further explored and presented here. This site is a three story tall mezzanine level roof embedded within a larger building. Not unlike the role of a pavilion or “folly” in the 18th century, which served to de-familiarize normative court life from prescribed ceremonial mannerisms to free-spirited and leisurely pursuits, this project attempts to provide an escape distinct from its urban context. Here the adjacent windows that point towards the mezzanine are imagined as eyes on the façade with their own cones of vision. The cones are then traced and materialized to represent the invisible diagram of vision; these traces are solidified into surface treatments that then were transformed into a series of contours. The said geometry is treated with material and color to further provide an immersive and occupiable atmosphere produced by multiple layers manipulating perception both from the distance of a few blocks away as well as from within. This project explores the boundaries between art and architecture in the hopes of constructing an alternate reality that is neither merely an installation in a museum nor a building in a city.