Hunter Ruthrauff

Hunter Ruthrauff

San Diego, CA, US



This project was submitted to UCLA's WPA 2.0 competition which focuses on urban renewal through the integration of architecture and cutting edge infrastructure. Urbanetics uses the human body as an analogy for input of energy, use of energy, and disposal of waste whereby mimicking the body function and form come into a dynamic relationship.

The gondola transit’s structure is a semi-monocoque shell which formally closes where the track touches the ground plane and stations occur in order to cut off the noise generated by the mechanical systems which feed the track line. As the track gains distance from the mechanical systems it opens up because of the lack of noise producing machines. On the opposing side facing the river the structure opens up to offer shade for urban furniture and sport facilities. Represented here is but a small section of a track that runs the length of the LA River, and since the gondola transit was just one component piece of a larger urban plan for Los Angeles the decision was made to design a section between the end of a station that touches the ground plane and a portion that is just uninterrupted track line hovering above the ground. The fluid morphological form of the track allows one to easily visualize the limitless possibilities that such a language could yield. The overall urban proposal for the competition
parallels the functions of the human body with the functions of a city. This component of transportation mirrors the functions of veins and their ability to move blood and nutrients all over the body so it was fitting that language mimic this process both in appearance and in functionality. The difference here
being that a city transports power, communications, water, and of course people. So the goal then was to design a utility capable of combining each of these in an efficient manner that was easily maintainable and flexible enough to morph from station to utility track and back again. The arteries beneath the PV’s transport both energy and lines of communications while the other side houses the mechanical systems needed to run the gondola’s track. Formally the project opens and closes depending on the urban condition. So in the instance that the track runs along side a neighborhood it will formally close where a station occurs to limit the noise caused by the mechanical systems feeding the track. Once the gondola’s leave the station there is relatively no noise which prompts the envelope
to again open up.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US