Location: Los Angeles, Glendale, CA
Architect: Nerin Kadribegovic, AIA Partner-in-Charge, Lehrer Architects LA
Budget: 35 Million
MEP Engineers: S&K Engineers
Beauty and Stewardship of Public Resources: An Inseparable Couplet
This project captures this coalescing of centerpieces of our City’s civilization: The renascent Los Angeles River, the capture, treatment and renewal of our City’s waste water, and the 5 Freeway with millions of folks driving by every week. All next to Griffith Park and the Santa Monica Mountains, the new LA River Bridge, and looking southwards to Downtown LA, north and easterly to Glendale and the San Gabriels.
The LAG plant is located at the head of the Elysian Valley Narrows where massive water, millions of people in trucks and cars, and all of our waste–everything—comes together and takes the fastest route through the City to the Pacific Ocean.
The conundrum of effective infrastructure—clean, reliable water; healthy waste disposal and recycling; electricity, and power—is that that more effective it is, the more invisible it is. It is very hard to build massive, natural stewardship of and love for resources which are “invisible”.
Their work to capture the imagination and to transform the culture. That is why the architecture and landscapes housing our infrastructure must be honorific and beautiful. People care about things they can see that respect their humanity, bring them joy, and engage their senses and passions. This is so critical when these things give them civilization and a good, safe, healthy life.
LA SAN values the role of beauty and joy in building a deft, world class, world-leading sustainable City. It has done it from the architecture and gardens of the Tilman Plant, to the new buildings and grounds of the Hyperion plant, and now, by transforming the Los Angeles River as this new LA Urban Waterway campus exuberantly celebrates it.
This project in this site visibly celebrates the unity of water for millions of people to see and rejoice as they drive, walk, bike or horse by: the LA River, the joyous process of taking our waste water, advance-treating it and turning it into celebratory water.
This is the poetics of building wholesome, robust, meaningful community pride and grounding it in the joyous, passionate stewardship of our world class infrastructure.