Interview: Geoffrey von Oeyen

Geoffrey von Oeyen discusses the relationship between site, light, and geometry in his work.

October 22, 2014

Recorded in 2014.

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.

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.

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.


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