Whole Grain Tetris
Venice, CA

The city is an open system with no hierarchy, only differentiation. Whole Grain Tetris serves as a piece of the urban fabric that is organized based on differentiation, not hierarchy. The project operates in the same manner as a developer would, by first subdividing the land and creating parcel lines, then developing buildings. The first task is to lay down the subdivision lines. Just as land lots have certain proportions, and streets have certain characteristics, Whole Grain Tetris breaks down the site into different “lots,” the boundaries of which are still visible, so that the site in effect begins to operate like the city of Los Angeles.

Tetris is the tool used to accomplish this, as it is a game that requires a strategy of organization. It is the logic of the project, and has a recognizable imageability. Each major programmatic element is assigned to a unique tetrad, and the required/desired adjacencies of these programs dictate the overall organization of the tetrads within the field. Anchoring onto Whole Foods, they spread across the site creating a strong horizontal datum which then turns up into a housing tower with a combination of studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. | full text