my design work in and out of architecture

Arch 203, Charrette 03 – Midterm

Lincoln Heights Recreational Center

The Natural Talent Design Competition, put on by the LA chapter of the USGBC, called for participants to “design an adaptive reuse program for the existing Historical Lincoln Heights Los Angeles City Jail site”. The project called for sustainable solutions for the area that not only would reinvent the existing building, but revitalize the Lincoln Heights community. The project was also to incorporate the adjacent Los Angeles River. Ideally, the proposals should be envisioned as a future part of the recently adopted Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan. Other than that, the competition was very open to interpretation. There was no given program; each team would decide what the building and surrounding context would become.

Read the full competition briefing.

The entire quarter, however, we were sort of in a limbo because we did not receive drawings of the former jail until about six or seven weeks into the quarter. This made fitting a proposed program into the old building a speculative matter. Nevertheless, we (Aaron Locke and myself) initially decided on turning the area into an expansive community center.

The area would become local destination that would accommodate a number of different activities and ultimately help rejuvenate the community. The lower levels of the old jail house would now accommodate a gym, a fitness center, a pool, a rock climbing wall, a boxing gym, a community theater, and other facilities. We also noticed that the area was poor in housing, so the top two levels of the former jail would now become small family residences, complete with a community garden on the huge roof.

The site would become a new community park, below which would be situated parking for the facility. On the grounds would also be a network of “eco-ponds” which would help treat water run off before it would enter the LA River. In addition, the proposal would break up the basin of the river flood channel in the area, creating a “soft-bottom” channel which would foster plants and help improve the local ecology.

This plan, however, would change completely for the final proposal…

midterm presentation boardClick above to see the full size PDF.