LONG BEACH PORT CITY
STUDIO: urbanism, los angeles
YEAR: five (5)
DATE: fall, 2011
DESIGN LENGTH: three (3) months
SUPPORT: chris warren (principal, W.o.R.D.)
PROJECT SITE: long beach port, los angeles
PROGRAM: port terminal, infrastructure, nodal public programs, housing, retail, public space
Long Beach Port City is an urban approach to the given port terminal program by attempting to consolidate all major infrastructure, transportation, and the existing program of the Long Beach shorefront while adding additional nodal programs not found in the area. This masterplan examines the idea of a "city within a city" and aims to create a self-sustainable and inclusive mega-'machine' for living, working, and playing.
The morphology of the cohesive, unified, and equilateral 'ring' or 'circle' is employed as a means to delimit the city of Long Beach, and serve as an oppositional commentary to the sprawled grid morphology of Los Angeles at large. Within the ring exists a series of parallel bands running north-south mimicking the Long Beach downtown street grid that contains piers of special and programmatically variant park space, giving Long Beach its own version of a utopian 'Central Park'.
Whereas the layers provide difference and diversity, the ring provides cohesion and unity. The ring is the glue of the city of Long Beach, consolidating infrastructure, a carved interior public promenade, the actual port terminal (from which cruise ships circulate/rotate) and a final layer of housing. The perimeter of the ring ties together major programmatic nodes: financial, cultural, and entertainment type program. As the cruise ships circulate on the interior of the ring, their changing location catalyzes a visual & programmatic juxtaposition with each passing program node and the city morphology beyond.
In essence, the ring is a spectacle. It is everything that Los Angeles is not: dense, efficient, self-sustainable, transit-oriented, and truly public.
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