Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Los Angeles, CA


Baumgartner+Uriu's "Apertures" Opens April 11 at SCI-Arc Gallery

By sciarcnews
Mar 19, '14 2:55 PM EST

Friday, April 11, 7pm: Discussion with Herwig Baumgartner, Scott Uriu and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss, followed by an opening reception

SCI-Arc is please to present Apertures, a site-specific installation designed by Herwig Baumgartner and Scott Uriu, opening April 11 in the SCI-Arc Gallery. The exhibition reflects a current architectural discourse of digital ecologies, emphasizing the relationship between the natural world and advances in digital technology, which leads to a new type of interactive, organic buildings. The installation focuses on a symbiotic relationship between nature, building morphologies, and material expression.

Rooted in Baumgartner+Uriu’s work and ongoing research, Apertures challenges the notion of an architectural opening as a static object. Moreover, it aims to redefine the DNA of a window both in terms of its appearance and materiality, as well as its nature as an object in continuous flux, responding to its environment through movement or sound. The pavilion and its apertures are designed to physically engage the visitor with the architectural work through sensors and sound feedback loops, creating an immersive spatial environment in which the visitor can experience their own biorhythms.

The 16-foot-tall, thin shell structure was designed to solely rely on its extremely thin surface (1/8”) as support, requiring no additional structural elements. Structure and surface are collapsed into a single component supported through its shape, creased surfaces and material strength only. Each one of the 172 panels is unique in terms of its shape. They are CNC milled from polyurethane foam, heat formed out of thermoplastic polymer resin, and then laminated together into a single object.

Unique to this project is the proposal of building as organism, challenging how architecture can interface with its users and its environment in a much more intuitive way. This entails both the use of technology to augment its performance and a design aesthetic that is incongruous and can incorporate analog features into a digital design process.

About Baumgartner+Uriu

Herwig Baumgartner and Scott Uriu, the founders of Baumgartner+Uriu (B+U), are an internationally recognized design duo operating at the forefront of contemporary design. Their design process can be described as driven by digital techniques and advanced computation that utilizes new technologies and material resources. B+U’s work focuses on experimenting with new spatial concepts, and intensifying existing urban landscapes in pursuit of an aesthetic that encompasses all fields of design. The two designers recently exhibited at the FRAC Center in Orleans, France; the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France; the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, California; and the 12th Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy. Two monographs have been published on B+U’s work, which has also been widely published and discussed in books, magazines and newspapers. The firm was recently awarded with the Maxine Frankel Award for Design Research, the AIA National Award for Emerging Professionals and the Architizer A+Award for sustainability.


SCI-Arc exhibitions and public programs are made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs.

Apertures is supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Additional support is generously provided by Coastal Enterprises and Foam Mart.  

Sound by: Composer Hannes Köcher of Vienna, Austria

Structural consultant: Matthew Melnyk

Public Programs

SCI-Arc public programs are subject to change beyond our control. For the most current information, please visit or call 213-613-2200.

Parking and Hours

The entrance to SCI-Arc's parking lot is at 350 Merrick Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013, between Traction Avenue and 4th Street in Los Angeles. The SCI-Arc Gallery is open daily from 10am–6pm; the Library Gallery is open daily from 12pm-6pm.