Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, great cultural changes were integrated into the way people lived; this was accomplished through an emergence of countless technological advancements and social revolutions. The Ballona Wetlands -- one of the last surviving wetlands in Los Angeles -- represents the significant physical effects of these types of changes. As an increased availability in steel and concrete provided for the materialization of large-scale urban-projects, areas like Ballona Creek were cemented over to create flood control channels. The site itself is an ecological reserve bordered by a boulevard, a highway, and a concrete channel that spills into the Pacific Ocean a mile away. The site is unique in that it is inherently a large natural interruption in the city which allows inhabitants an experience of detachment from daily life and active consumption.
Steel plays an integral role in the quality of the design and its relationship to the site as it allows for long spans and therefore it minimizes the overall footprint of the building. Additionally, the arched trusses frame expansive views of the natural site in order to create a relationship between the individual, the land, and the surrounding city. The dual arched truss design forms a gestural path onto the site for self discovery and meditation. The program is distributed to both structures with bridges uniting them in public spaces.
The design of the building centers around the idea that a person suffering from a traummatic event such as war can find meditate more effectively when they themselves comprehend their condition and are educated in methods for self rehabilitation. Therefore, the building is circulated as if on a series of trails so the experience of the patients is never monotonous and always reflective.
Status: School Project
Location: Marina del Rey, CA, US
My Role: Designer
Additional Credits: Designer Alexander Towpasz