STUDIO: comprehensive, civic center
YEAR: three (3)
DATE: spring, 2010
DESIGN LENGTH: four (4) months
SUPPORT: jeffrey kim (principal, forward design office)

PROJECT SITE: echo park lake, los angeles
PROGRAM: urban farm, civic center, social hall, offices, public space
This civic center proposal examines the specifics of urban farming as a spatial and formal design tool. Urban farming was chosen as a hybrid program in order to not only serve as an educational and sustainable solution to the growing problem of food sustenance in major city centers like Los Angeles, but also as a way to bridge the gap that exists between the 'citizen' and 'state', or 'social' vs. 'institutional' differences that exist within the given program. Vegetable and fruit crops that flourish in Southern California were organized into their respective spatial needs. For examples, crops like radish, mushrooms, and spinach require partial shade to grow; whereas grapes and peas need trellises or hanging structures to grow on. These constraints promote design investigations into the specific architectural and spatial needs required by varying type of crops.

The idea of the 'crop line' that exists in crop fields as two-dimensional planar language was taken and then morphed into crop 'strips' to form architectural space and function. Using the spatial and sustainable requirements of different crops, crop 'strips' were twisted or curved 3-dimentionally to form and develop the architectural space of the basic program parti diagram that was set up earlier. Some 'strips' become void, acting as skylights to the social hall or exterior public space below, and the room and floor-scape become a dynamic relationship between twisting solids and voids.

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