suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
gabriel HUERTA: The Innovative Technology Center is a proposal for creating a hub for rapid prototyping, research and development, while simultaneously infusing the site in Koreatown with a new cultural attractor. An overarching urban problem in Koreatown is the scarcity of open public space of which the design attempts to address by reducing land use through a smaller building footprint.
The formal response for creating cohesion in the mixed density development (multipurpose theatre, luxury housing, galleries, and retail space) is the creation of a mass of discrete volumes interconnected by an elevated plaza. The elevated plaza is not solely a series of bridges to facilitate circulation, but it embeds sectionally the Innovative Technology program so as to create a floating volume that is opportunistic in creating a second layer of open space on its roof. With the duality of acting as mediator programmatically and formally, the ITC straddles between the theatre volume, the residential tower, and the existing historic corner building allowing for landscape to flow underneath. Programmatically it embraces cross contamination of program allowing for the Technology program to parasitically incorporate and allow for instances of dialogue between the disparate program (e.g. in the theatre concourse the rapid prototyping process becomes a spectacle of exhibition).
Water management is the infrastructural driver of the project and is integrated in the building form and skin through passive storm water collection. The landscape is performative in the retention and natural processing of grey water through a field of bioswales and cisterns. As a building system, water is incorporated in the form of radiant cooling for floor slabs that is drawn from groundwater source heat pumps and of repurposed grey water. Solar thermal units further supplement the system by lining the building roof as a performative pattern to heat water.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
gH:Tom Wiscombe, Maori Tattoos, Mazda Taiki concept car, and Tafoni rock formations
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
gH: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Tron Legacy (OST), Gantz, Stargate Universe
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
gH: Roland Snooks, Zaha Hadid, Steven Ma
Special thanks to Crystalline RP and Bin Lu.