LA 203 Basic Landscape Design: Building Complexity
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LA 203 Basic Landscape Design: Building Complexity

LA 203 Basic Landscape Design: Building Complexity


Published: June 8, 2018 0 0 276
By: Samantha Hernandez, Cal Poly Pomona
Category: Other
Hashtags: #cppla

Site analysis of the Rio Hondo Spreading Grounds with partner Jin McFarland.

Creating rules based on the Rio Hondo Spreading Grounds and making them into physical manifestations. I contributed to 16 of these models. We were a group of three people instead of four, so the empty spaces would have gone to the fourth person. Partners were Jin McFarland and Joel Ramirez.

Our site was on Rio Hondo Spreading Grounds which is a huge expanse of land that charges aquifers. It only fills up with water a few times a year, and only gets up to three feet high. There's not much like it in LA, so its really unique and very important for groundwater recharge. We did research through project one and two, which led to our third project, Beyond the Horizon. My group focused on the expanse of the spreading grounds, moments of isolation, change of space, and wildlife+water. We brought out the material of the canal (concrete, and painted grey in model) which was supposed to mimic the heaviness of the channel running along the spreading grounds. The main path was modeled after a pier as a reminder of the absence of water and how vast the space is. The pier is 16' above ground level, going over a cliff supported by a retaining wall. After, the material changes from concrete to wood, creating a more delicate walkway. We focused particularly on Western Cottonwoods which do very well in riparian zones or areas with water (they can live without excess water too) as our main canopy/tree. These trees can get 100' high and 5' in diameter, but for the model we made them 60'. Because they are at such a large scale it creates a massive canopy for people. We highlighted that by having groves of them at different densities. So in the beginning it's so dense people don't see anything, but when they get on that walkway they are very exposed. You then reach this first platform, where the trees are going through the ground of the platform and open up along the edges for smaller moments of exposure/opening the view. Along with the trees we focused on a bird called the black crowned night heron. They also live in the same conditions the cottonwoods. We created bird habitat structures for them, which are haphazard piles of sticks on both edges. They were modeled after what herons like to nest in, which is on branches that intersect. In 1:1 the sticks are 2", perfect for them to perch. They're 40' tall because we wanted them to be at a big scale like the trees and get peoples attention.There are sticks protruding through the pier that are supports inspired by the bird structures. They are concrete in order to bring the material of the canal again. They're also thicker than 2", they're 1' wide and 10' tall for people scale. 10' The first platform where they're also haphazardly placed is the idea of a humans nest instead of a birds nest. The second platform is supposed to focus on isolation and have you as far out into the spreading grounds as we could. That's why there's only one tree, one bench, and a bigger area than needed for individuals. The secondary path on the bottom is surrounded by wild flowers, which are supposed to be really high so that people don't know where the path is taking them. That's also why it's a zigzag, with those corners you're being forced to drastically change direction. It's on a mound that's 4' so that when it floods you can still walk along it and can actually experience the water more closely. We also created depressions beneath the bird structures in order to hold more water.
Partners were Jin McFarland and Joel Ramirez.

Tagged Teammates:

  • Jin Mcfarland
  • Joel Ramirezperez