Steel Competition project using Rhino 4.0, 3ds Max, AutoCAD, photoshop and Illustrator CS4:
Water is a precious commodity in The Valley, a place that either suffers severe drought or sudden, potentially devastating floods. Instead of roots, the building expresses itself formally as sections of urban infrastructure that have exposed themselves to the sky, reaching away from their underground anonymity. Like The Mangrove Tree, it breaks all expectations that piped, much like roots, must remain buried. Structurally the building is a series of 3 three-dimensional steel trusses that employ a circular section that provides each portion of the structure with greater rigidity and a fluid spatial continuity, reminding visitors of water flowing through a pipe, connecting the invisible underground infrastructure with the widely visible urban space beyond the Dam. The Hydrology Research Center sits on the wetlands formed behind the Sepulveda Dam, allowing for this terrain’s study and observation while imposing a relatively small footprint on it. As the bent pipes burst-out of the wetlands and reach high above the Dam, the building becomes an iconic piece of The Valley’s urban landscape where the notion of water becomes present in the collective consciousness of Los Angeles’ own suburbia.
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA, US