Prof. Maltzan, J. M. Tate
Los Angeles Triple Standard: Urban Health in Superbigatropolis, Spring 2011
Blair Hills Environmental Impact Center
The site is located at the corner of a five-point intersection on the west side of Los Angeles, with direct visual and physical relationships with the city’s diverse natural ecologies: oil wells to the west, the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area to the north, and an unhindered view of the Pacific Ocean. The Environmental Impact Center is not only a specialized ecological research lab, but also a center for urban health and development, encouraging public interaction and education.
The project draws on certain characteristics of the city in an attempt to tie architecture and urbanism together into a built form that encapsulates the essence of Los Angeles. Taking cues from the varying sectional qualities of the site, the fragmented podium levels are reminiscent of the car-oriented plinths along Wilshire Blvd. The directed perspectives of the window openings give choreographed views of the surrounding landscape, while at the same time allowing the exterior perception of the towers to shift as drivers pass by.