Post traumatic stress disorder has increasingly become a major problem in our society. In the post 9/11 world we live in, specialists are developing new theories on how to treat the disease. The large population of military personnel returning from armed conflict has overwhelmed the system. Our proposal will be one of the first to specialize in the research and treatment of the condition. Architecture can’t cure or make one feel a certain way; however, architecture can provide opportunities for treatment. One opportunity in which Wave Strength provides is the chance to find peace and quiet by framing views to the ocean, creek, the wetlands and the urban fabric. Another opportunity that arises in the architecture of Wave Strength is that the calm curvatures of the steel give it a “Spa like” feeling. It’s almost like when someone walks in, they want to fall asleep there. The treatment and research facility is 60,000 square feet. The main features/spaces are; roof-top amphitheater along with roof-top gardens surrounding it, a gym, auditorium, group activity rooms, counseling offices, and a massage room. These spaces are elevated above the creek at different levels so that each space will have its own view. The open circulation allows for the cool air from the creek to rise up to cool the spaces above.
The Ballona Wetlands is a fragile ecosystem. To disrupt the minimum possible of this delicate and precious site, this project reuses several abandoned railroad pillars and spans the adjacent the creek instead. The formal language of the steel structure was inspired in part by a diagram of human brain waves. By intertwining normal and abnormal brain waves, a new truss system is born. This expressive truss system becomes rigid only if all the undulating pieces are connected. This language is also meant to give gestural expression to the re-curving of an abnormal brain wave pattern into a normal one. PTSD patients come to the treatment center with a number of problems. Calm curves symbolize their gentle-transitioning from trouble to healing.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Ballona Wetlands, Culver City
My Role: Principal Designer, Modeler, and Detailer
Additional Credits: Partnered with David Isagulyan