In the Green Room

An Ex-Violinist Who Loves the Ballet

In the Green Room with Architect Eric Owen Moss

Eric Owen Moss is principal and lead designer of Eric Owen Moss Architects in Los Angeles. Before participating in a panel on the past and future of L.A.’s global image, he sat down in the green room to talk high and low, from art, music, and ballet to cleaning up after his family’s dog.

Q. What’s hanging on the walls of your living room?

A. A lot of stuff. Some drawings by little kids-of tomatoes, potatoes, oranges. There’s a gigantic piece of a [David Alfaro] Siqueiros mural: the one with a Spanish head pushed into the Indian head.

Q. Do you play any musical instruments?

A. I used to play the violin. It’s been years. My grandfather was in the New York Philharmonic, and played the violin, the cello, and I think the viola.

Q. How do you cure the hiccups?

A. I have no idea how to cure the hiccups. My best guess is a fairly banal-go drink a glass of water. Cognac?

Q. What are your least or most favorite household chores?

A. We have a little dog, a beagle, so I clean up the poop, and feed the dog every day. I always kind of hated to do that, and then at a certain point, I started to feel like it was being helpful, and if I didn’t do it someone else would have to do it. It doesn’t bother me actually.

Q. What’s worth waiting in line for?

A. Not U.S. customs. … Maybe waiting in line for Yehudi Menuhin or Jascha Heifetz or Merce Cunningham. I would wait in line for the Kirov Ballet, including in St. Petersburg in the winter.

Q. What don’t people understand about architecture?

A. I’m not sure that’s the way to ask the question. You’re presuming there’s a kind of in-house version of architecture and a public’s version of architecture. The truth of the matter is there are many versions of architecture, and part of the appeal is going from one kind of architecture to another.

Q. Where can we find you at 9:00 on a Friday night?

A. It depends-I might be watching a high school football game. I might be at a movie with my wife. I might be at SCI-Arc downtown.

*Photo by Sarah Rivera.