Alex Whitehead

Alex Whitehead

Los Angeles, CA, US


LIGHTNESS_rethinking the LA DWP Building

This Fifth Year topic studio was guided by Kevin Daly in the Fall of 2010.
The design problem was to recreate the building envelope of the Los Angeles DWP building designed by AC Martin. Students were asked to experiement with multiple ways of providing sustainable enclosures, but in the end must use an inflated steel technology called FiDU to create the new envelope of the building. 
With the ultimate goal of controling harsh light while harnessing reflections to naturally light the space, the resulting design consits mainly of inflated steel fins that visually mimic characteristics of rippling water; a stark contrast to the existing building language.
Each facade with unique sun orientation uses the fins in ways that minimize direct solar gain in the summer while maximizing sun penetration into the core of the building at the same time throughout the year.  Spacing, sizing, and overlap all change throughout the four facades 
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Status: School Project
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US

Concept Diagram