Los Angeles, CA


co-op canyon

CO-OP CANYON is a cooperative community of 1,000 people living together in terraced cliff dwellings overlooking lush urban canyon. Residents gain equity in the co-op through participation in construction, agricultural, maintenance, education and conservation programs central to the
sustenance of the community.

The dwelling terraces are lined with FRONT YARD gardens hosting native plants that vary in color and texture as they ascend above the canyon floor; BACKYARD gardens punctuate the ends of the terraces. Below, in the green CANYON FLOOR residents exchange knowledge and resources under the shade of trees. Small live-work and commercial spaces, child care, play and fitness spaces and the COMMUNITY KITCHEN, the co-op’s wellness center, are active with people, while native birds and insects inhabit the canyon’s plantings. The canyon walls are relatively thin, ample natural illumination and air circulation within the dwellings. At the street level, these porous walls form the threshold between the community and the urban context, linking the terraced canyon floor to the streets of Dallas. Vertical circulation to the dwellings is travels through SKIP-STOP lobbies, where an elevator stops on one level of multi-story space, and stairs lead to adjacent levels. Skip stop lobbies promote fitness and interaction; they are the DRIVEWAY spaces where residents share laundry facilities, recycling chutes, and exercise bikes.

FOOD is the thread that knits the community together. Garden allotments, both concentrated in the project’s Community Farm, and dispersed throughout the backyard terraces, allow residents to grow, exchange and share canyon-grown produce. Hobbyists grow produce for daily needs and
informal exchange in the Backyard allotments, and the terraces host small gatherings and cookouts.  The Community Farm is the focal point of the southern canyon, situated on the stepped terraces that link the levels of the canyon floor.

Produce from the Community Farm is consumed in the Community Kitchen and sold in the market spaces below. The Community Kitchen, where the exchange of knowledge about healthy diet, cultural and family cooking techniques is a resource for healthy eating. Located adjacent to the child care center and the fitness center, the Community Kitchen offers regular classes and food tastings focused on nutrition, locally grown produce, and sharing cultural traditions. The Community Kitchen is a part of holistic approach to health that includes exercise and inter-generational social interaction encouraged by work in the canyon’s gardens.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Dallas, TX, US