Building design with Landscape Studio 413

UCLA - Architecture and Urban Design - M.Arch 2nd year - Fall 2022

The fourth studio in AUD’s M.Arch I Core series and the first studio of second year, ARCH 413 initiates a move from more introductory studio problems of first year to increasingly comprehensive, complex, and real-world problems pursued through the second and third year. Building design indicates this course’s primary mandate as a continuation of previous building design studios, the building problem now being somewhat larger in size than those of first year (though not as large as buildings assigned in later studios) with more challenging programmatic requirements. Additionally, this studio introduces landscape as a subject and discipline unto itself, a field of study and work that often coexists around and through architecture. This course works to integrate building and landscape in novel and projective ways and requires that landscape be integral to the project. Further still, the design problem implicates urban design intentionally, encouraging its priority in the project by virtue of both site selection and program requirements.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP, or simply DWP) oversees the largest municipal infrastructure in the United States. The scale of this network of streams and rivers, lakes and reservoirs, dams, aqueducts, culverts, pipes, stations, substations, and power lines is vast, spanning several western states. Physical evidence of this infrastructure is everywhere but goes unnoticed: everywhere yet nowhere at once. Usually its invisibility occurs secondarily, the inevitable side effect of ubiquity. In certain cases, however, the suppression of the system’s physical presence is purposeful, a conscious decision by its architects and engineers to hide certain objects in plain sight. This is especially true of the substations, buildings that fade into the urban background through dead iconography. This studio explores these substations for their potential to inform design at the intersection of infrastructure and architecture.

Students work by UCLA - Architecture and Urban Design - M.Arch 2nd year - Fall 2022
Yara Feghali / 2022