Liminal Space: Transforming the Taylor Yard G2 Parcel

While the Los Angeles River may drift and turn before dispensing its waters into the Pacific Ocean, the sound of its rushing flows are now reverberating through California’s capital and across the country, in the halls of Congress. As staunch supporters to raise one billion dollars for restoring the nation’s most iconic streams, the L.A. Mayor, with the backing of the Army Corps, have worked through the federal channels in bringing this long awaited vision close to reality. A former Union Pacific rail yard, affectionately called the “crown jewel’ of Los Angeles River, the 42-acre Taylor Yard G2 Parcel is one of the largest remaining undeveloped lands along the River, soon to be purchased by the City. Ironically, as the public gears up to celebrate the acquisition of this highly prized open space, California is undergoing the worse drought of the century. Transforming the G2 Parcel calls for the creation of a new paradigm towards the reestablishment of historic riparian habitats, as well as challenges the notion of a 21st century urban park—its role in contemporary urbanism.

Set within a highly politically-charged context, the complex issues of water, ecology, infrastructure, and urbanism at the G2 Parcel warrant urgent explorations and design resolution. The objective of the studio is to reassess well-established approach to ecological restoration, and to propose innovative design solutions in an urban context that is highly volatile— defined by severe droughts and flash flood regimes. Emphasis will be placed on the clarity of an approach and the consistent manner in which a ‘big idea’ is delivered through form, materials and details.

Instructors will be in studio every other week, Tuesday & Wednesday 2-6pm
Off site discussions will be conducted through video conference

Course format:
Part 1: Topic of Interest
Part 2: Strategy
Part 3: Tentative Studio Trip to Los Angeles
Part 4: The Landscape Architecture Project (Methodology & Design)
Part 5: Innovation (Details)

Students will be evaluated based on innovation, participation, completion of required assignments, mid and final reviews.

The studio is open to all graduate students of landscape architecture, urban design, and architecture with knowledge of GIS, Rhino, video editing software, CNC modeling, and familiarity with landscape ecology, hydrology, and grading.

Irregular Schedule:
Gerdo Aquino and Ying-Yu Hung will hold studio the following dates: August 29, September 9, 10, October 7, 8, 21, 22, November 4, 5, 18, 19, and December 2, and 3. They will be available for desk crits on the Wednesday mornings that they are scheduled to hold class. A field trip is planned for Monday, September 22 thru Wednesday, September 24.