Team ········· Yotam Ben Hur
                    Anna Procopez

Type ········· Urban Landscape
Year ······ 2017
Status ······· Academic

Tidelands Synthetic Nature ®
This thesis project offers a new organizing tool for Los Angeles.

Tidelands is a synthetic device to implement the spatial attributes of “nature” in an urban environment. The project offers a new water typology which will synthetically recreate multiple modes of occupation and enable fluctuation between users and scales.

In anticipation for the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games we examined LA’s existing open public spaces. We found those spaces, (such as huntington library, rose bowl stadium) to be highly prescribed, exclusive, disconnected and limiting in scale and use.

The Beach as a natural public edge, is an exception to our findings, offering a fluid edge configuration and variation in use. We offer to invert the public edge to reconnect the city and create a network of public spaces, using the LA river.

We choose to see the river at as a catalyst of urban operations rather than an amid view or amenity, as many future projects perceive it. Our project transforms the river from an obstructive concrete edge, to a contracting and expanding tissue, connecting surrounding green spaces and commercial axis.  (Move to River VS. Beach sections)

To do so, we use the beach as a model, understanding the edge configuration at the beach, where edges are soft, adjacent, and fluctuating, and how different it is from that of the river. The goal of our project was to transform the rigid edge configuration of the river into a fluid one, that enables endless spatial conditions.

The project offers a new water typology by synthetically controlling the water. Creating a system of reservoirs and dams to allow the synthetic retaining and flooding of different segments. (water segments diagram). The water shifts from conditions of drought, to that of a flood, and offers a variation of modes of occupation, for dry or wet, day and night scenarios. (four plans diagram).

(Exploded The variation of modes is created by the intertwining of three architectural systems. The first, a continuous man made topographical system, that navigates the water, enabling endless changing spatial conditions (Dry/Wet, High/Low, Flat/Sloped). The other two navigate people throughout the project. (In 64’’ Plan) The first, an elevated bridge system, which begins in a commercial community center inside the neighborhood, carrying people from both banks of the river, flooding people in and out of the project, (a “from above” experience). The second, adjacent to the water edge, routing people across the river, from north to south, allows a slower and more integrated experience with the water. (The typologies 64’’ diagram+ 64’’ physical model) Merging of these two systems, create crisp moments of enclosed and semi-enclosed spatial conditions, places of gathering. Those moments are repeated throughout the site and provide a range of individual and collective activities. Endless horizon - a point of view which provides an endless horizon of the project and the city.  The cave, carved within the topography, the stream edge platforms. And the enclosed spaces.  These moments are connected by the flat plaza.

The activities change in relation to the programmed water.

In a dry, drought like condition, the topographical system will lead and provide dry activities such as tanning, hiking, and climbing. While the Sunken Pool, using both the topographical and the water edge system, will offer a specific wet location of gathering and play. In a stream condition, water related activities and spaces will take charge, activating the stream edge surface, for swimming, kayaking and in water experience. The enclosed space will be used for restrooms and dressing, the cliff point, overlooking the water, will hold dancing and music activities. And the cave condition will provide an intimate and naked location. In an extreme condition of flooding, the bridge system will take charge and enforce the endless horizon moments, suspended above the rushing water. This condition will enable deep water activities such as sailing. And redefine the use of previous spaces, putting emphasis on using their exterior skin.