Más proposed inventive new uses for districts that breathe and recycle like humans for the AN and SCI-Arc’s Cleantech Corridor and Green District competition, which asked entrants to rethink and redesign the 2,000-acre development zone on the eastern edge of downtown Los Angeles that the city has set aside for clean tech manufacturing and related uses. Many, including LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, have said that the district will be the hub of the city’s future economy.
As one of the winning entries, Más created iconic new architectural designs for the area, established strategies to energize and enrich it through new planning and land-use schemes, and developed environmental and energy plans to make it green and self-sustaining.
The Más winning entry examined the urban character of LA’s industrial corridor as a paradoxical blend of functionality and disregard. Currently, most of the city’s distribution, shipping, and freight storage occur within this zone. However, there is no structural logic or organization to this corridor. Freight modal hubs are littered along Alameda and Olympic. Additionally, a huge residential population to the east is cut off from accessing the city by this blanket of absolute, thoughtless industry.
In part, because of the lack of organizational clarity to these transit systems, 20 to 30 percent of the industrial buildings that populate the site are outmoded and shuttered, with no inherent flexibility or market value. Conversely, this is part of what makes the Cleantech Corridor so provocative: its raw space and potential for industry and innovation. But to function within a modern metropolis, what the corridor needs is a systemic overhaul, a retrofitting that will allow it to transition into an intermodal landscape.