Rejected by the status quo and embattled to defend his futuristic, yet naturalistic visions, an anti-establishment architect finds unexpected allies in the small town where he hopes to build his architectural fantasia.
“TELOS” chronicles the unorthodox life and revolutionary work of Eugene Tssui, an eccentric visionary and a maverick architect. He questions traditional building standards and put nature and the environment at the forefront of his designs long before “green” and “eco-friendly” became buzzwords.
The film composes a portrait of Tssui as a “Renaissance man”: an athlete, designer, and singular visual artist, as well as architect. The role of creativity in socially and environmentally-minded design is championed by documenting the range of influences from his childhood to his formal education, including three expulsions from architecture school, his relationship with his mentor the “organic” architect Bruce Goff, and the “Not-In-My-Backyard” controversy surrounding the unconventional dwelling built for his parents in Berkeley, California.
While his sustainable building principles have become a trend and a necessity, his aesthetics have yet to receive mainstream approval. Rejected by the status quo and embattled to defend his futuristic, yet naturalistic visions, Tssui finds unexpected allies in the small mountain town where he hopes to build his architectural fantasia.
Big Sur, California, 1984
This seven-story tower overlooking the Pacific Ocean houses library and archives materials. A hydraulic hinge system opens and closes the laboratory roof for natural ventilation. Second-level walkways contain outdoor eating and viewing areas.