This was an invited competition by the County of Los Angeles to build a new nature center in Baldwin Hills "with an emphasis on urban gardening which showcases healthy, sustainable living and its interconnected relationship to the cultural and natural landscape of the site."
The project draws its inspiration from the phenomenon of river deltas and the rich and vibrant environments they create.
Water is the essential component of any effort to grow food in this arid environment. The site is in the path of significant water flow that had been redirected via earlier man-made interventions.
The project proposes to redirect the flow back through the site to both capitalize on this available resource and to make a spectacle of it.
The project further proposes to demonstrate the potential of altering the wasteful food cycle as it is currently practiced in contemporary urban society.
This is done via a thoughtful study of the necessary inputs to grow food, and how those can be sourced in cyclical manner using the methods of permaculture.
This results in a closed loop food cycle that requires no external inputs, produces little waste and simultaneously provides the foundation for healthier urban communities.
The site plan is thus reflects a series of moraines retained by walls which redirect the water flow while also structuring a cyclical narrative experience which educates the public about this food cycle.
This experience is about the relationship of humans to the plants that feed them.
The moraines and walls provide opportunities to ascend the site while experiencing the flow of water through it.
The perspective of the user is constantly shifting as she moves through the moraines.
From the top of the moraine she has an overview of the site and an opportunity to cross the wall and continue on her journey.
An aerial view of the configuration of the walls and moraines against the backdrop the oil wells operating in the hills beyond.