Armory Center for the Arts

When the Armory Center for the Arts in Los Angeles asked Victoria Casasco and six other Californian design firms to participate in the Architecture in Balance project, it assigned architect a separate space in the Armory Center to redesign.

Prototypes for the proposed alterations were displayed within the exhibit, along with each architect’s recent works. Visitors were thus able to compare the ‘design’ as a spatial and temporal projection with the immediate experience of the gallery segment that the design was referring to, and use it as the basis of evaluating the design.

CASASCOstudio was asked to redesign the entrance to the Armory Center. Victoria proposed to install a rubber floor to significantly change the acoustic experience of the environment. In order to establish visual continuity consistent with the acoustic change, the messy ceiling pipes were to be covered with a suspended wooden laminate system. To introduce daylight into the space, the studio proposed an installation of new glass entry doors. Colors chosen for the installation were meant to comment on the primary means of travel within Los Angeles, primarily roadways and their stop and go traffic lights.

The studio tried to approach the assignment in the tradition of magic realism, by combining vivid color, lighting and non-visual (acoustic) devices, to create an unusual re-interpretation of the existing environment, without dis-configuring it beyond recognition.


Off the entry hall are reception areas, gallery and studios. From this spot, committee members explained, orientation is difficult: where is the receptionist (hidden behind a door to the left) ? Where are the rest rooms, gallery, studios, and other spaces? The committe urged Victoria Casasco to create signage that would clearly direct visitors, and to figure out how to deaden the noise in the entry. They also yearned for a more inviting, warmer and quieter entry.To accomplish this, Casasco proposed a number of significant changes. First the walls would be sandblasted to expose the original, poured-in place concrete, and any non-concrete surfaces would be eliminated. New glass entry doors would allow natural light to flood in, and a scrim on the ceiling would cover the messy pipes and lighting. Casasco plans to move the receptionist to a space connecting with the gallery that would also serve as a repository for informational brochures and class schedules. Diane

-Ghirardo Diane Ghirardo


June 7 - June 26, 1999

Intar Gallery NY



“The digital images exhibited at the Intar Gallery in New York are variable renderings of random stop-stills encountered through the virtual world of three dimensional models. They are reflections on Casasco’s interaction with Los Angeles, the city in which she used to live and work, or, more precisely – drive through. She discovers these abstract regions traced in the lines and renderings of virtual environments as if traveling through the Angeleno freeway at off peak hours.

They are images of temporary breaks in the journey through this virtual world, accelerations and stoppages that reveal an imaginary space located on the very threshold between the digital and the organic, the landscape and the machine. These images are unexpected events occurring within the process of virtual representation, random sequels that open up the world of ‘perfect imitation’ and make it permeable to visceral experience.

If architecture is an effort at finding new ways to live and perceive the world, then this is, in a way, architecture. Victoria ultimately communicates a contagious fascination with the world, and a profound belief that “new visions” don’t require a commitment to inventing from scratch. Her capacity to see the existing environment in just a slightly different way is indeed original.”

-Howard S. Garten