The Architectural League Prize 2014
Geoffrey von Oeyen Design
Geoffrey von Oeyen
Geoffrey von Oeyen is Founder and Principal of Los Angeles-based Geoffrey von Oeyen Design. His work “mediate[s] between the existing and the new with the aim of reframing and redirecting existing views, patterns, and orientations.” Von Oeyen characterizes the relationship within each project as “a dialogue that seeks to reveal essential geometric paradigms.” His practice has several projects in development in California, Texas, Georgia, and Puerto Rico, including the Horizon House and the Case Room, a private study for two attorneys, which are due to begin construction this summer in Malibu, California.
Geoffrey von Oeyen Design is one of the winners of the 2014 Architectural League Prize, one of North America’s most prestigious awards for young architects and designers. The prize, established in 1981, recognizes exemplary and provocative work by young practitioners and provides a public forum — through lectures, an exhibition, and a catalogue — for the exchange of their ideas.
In the interview above, von Oeyen details his design process as “using the building as an optical device for registering the natural environment,” with extensive study of natural light through computer and physical modeling as well as photography to calibrate light for the time of day and season. His Overlay installation arrays drawings, renderings, and models of seven of his firm’s projects in a grid on the wall, with the work framed and shaped to address the viewer directly and break the rectilinear image plane of the ubiquitous white box gallery. Von Oeyen’s interest in the relationship of built form to the natural environment is also explored in his discussion of architecture and sailing.
Geoffrey von Oeyen, Geoffrey von Oeyen Design, League Prize 2014, complete lecture video | Recorded June 24, 2014
In his League Prize lecture, von Oeyen describes how he leverages geometry to strategically address site, particularly using light and landscape to shape a building’s form. He presents nine projects: the Overlay gallery exhibit; Case Room, a study for two attorneys; Shadow Box Pavilion, a conceptual study on shadows and diffuse light; Pool House, an unbuilt guesthouse on a hillside; Horizon House, an update of a 1960s ranch house in Malibu; Y-House, a family retreat in Marfa, TX; the PIRL canopy that forms an outdoor teaching space; the Resinet Pavilion at the Blue Tape Exhibition, USC; and Casa Dunas, a conceptual design of movement and water flow.
Von Oeyen received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Urban Studies and minors in Art History and History from Stanford University. He was a US/UK Fulbright Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he obtained a Master of Philosophy in History and Philosophy of Architecture. Von Oeyen received a Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he was awarded the Faculty Design Award. He is currently a faculty member at the USC School of Architecture.
The Architectural League Prize, established in 1981, recognizes exemplary and provocative work by young practitioners and provides a public forum for the exchange of their ideas.