In the past four years of the Los Angeles Architectural Awards, the program also hosts the Julius Shulman Emerging Talent Award Competition for architecture students coming from six top architecture schools in Los Angeles County: California Polytechnic University Pomona; California State University Long Beach; University of Southern California; Southern California Institute of Architecture; Otis College of Art and Design; and Woodbury University.
On top of hectic schedules and workloads, participating students braved the intensive two-week competition to redesign South L.A.'s neglected early 20th-century Wetland Park Facility for reuse. For the first time, the Cal Poly Pomona team scooped up the 2015 award. Team members and recent CPP architecture college graduates Kate Blyk, Nicole Doan and Jeffrey Stevens were presented with the award and a $5,100 cash prize at the Los Angeles Business Council's 45th Annual Architectural Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel; a solid start to their post-college careers, indeed.
Check out the winning proposal below.
"A disused relic from the early 1900s, the 80,000-square-foot South Los Angeles Wetlands Park Facility in downtown’s South Park District formerly housed a bus and rail yard, and in the present day it sits adjacent to the 9-acre South Los Angeles Wetlands Park.
Students were provided a list of programs for inspiration such as market space, greenhouse, child care and community center. They were also required to present proposals incorporating a meaningful connection to the green space, while preserving as much as possible the building’s historic structure."
"This adaptive reuse project re-purposes the Red Car building near South LA’s Wetland Park in order to introduce a community-oriented facility. While keeping the existing primary structure, 10 volumes were placed into the original building to house various programs such as a study center, multipurpose rooms, and a cafe.
Los Angeles' South Park houses the project site that neighbors the South LA Wetland Park and Maya Angelou Community High School. The project targets South Park's underprivileged residents, particularly children who would use the proposed community center."
'Our research on the demographics helped with the results,' Doan said in a press statement. 'The judges saw that we were actually getting to know the site.' South Park has the distinction of having the highest poverty and school drop-out rates, and the lowest rate of homeownership.
Bilyk, Doan and Stevens conducted a thorough research of the area’s demography – from population density (21,638 people per square mile on a 1.41-square-mile district) and median household income (less than $30,000), to education attainment levels (only 3.4% of residents 25 and older have 4-year degrees). The team proposed a community center that can accommodate various community programs with spaces devoted to a study center, multipurpose rooms and a café."
"Aside from removing the south-facing garage space and replacing it with walls of windows overlooking Wetlands Park, the team’s proposed design kept the building intact.
'It was a really, really simple design in the end, and that’s what we’re very proud of,' Stevens said. 'Other teams proposed plans that involved demolition and restructuring,' Bilyk added. 'We decided to keep the building as it is. We actually did not touch the structure itself, aside from opening the windows. So what’s built inside does not intervene with the actual building.'
"'This first-place finish shows that when compared to the best of the very best, our students have the talent and discipline that set them apart,' said Michael Woo, Dean of the College of Environmental Design. 'They have brought great distinction to the Department and the University. Also, the faculty members of the Department of Architecture deserve commendation for their tireless efforts to cultivate Kate, Jeffrey, Nicole, and our other students to such a high level of performance.'"
This year's jury featured five leading Southern California architects: David Martin of AC Martin; Bob Hale of Rios Clementi Hale Studios; Sabu Song of Gensler; Scott Johnson of Johnson Fain; and Clifford Selbert of Selbert Perkins.
All images courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona. Project summary text via.
Find more images in the thumbnails below.
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