critic: Ramiro DIAZ-GRANADOS.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Connor COVEY: Folded Urbanism is a 3,000,000-square-foot megaform located just outside of downtown Los Angeles, in Lincoln Heights. The object positions itself uncomfortably on the site, between the L.A. Metro train and the Arroyo Seco.
These elements produce a formal “urban limit” that encroaches upon the building. This in turn causes the building to fold and compact itself into something that oscillates between part object and part tower. By performing this folding operation the project looks to see what of the problem of buildings changes (fundamentally) when concerns of the plan become those of volume. This transition from planometric to volumetric design creates unique relation of program and form on the interior. From shopping malls to marijuana grow-ops—and even ferris wheels—folded urbanism looks to create a diverse and autonomous interior world. Further, a graphic is applied that introduces window types; these types are influenced by the surrounding warehouse buildings. The size and fine grain of these window types makes the object appear even more awkward and oversized within its context. This again reinforces the building’s autonomy, utilizing familiar objects to produce something new.
The imagery of the project looks to further abstract the object, not only to propose a new world within the megaform but to allow this megaform to propose and represent a completely new Los Angeles. Instead of a realistic rendering, showing the grudge textures of Lincoln Heights as abandoned warehouse district, a new and bright world utilizing “pop” color is produced. Such rendering is then composed of colored hatchings, produced through Grasshopper, that are mapped to the original surfaces, essentially producing a rendered line drawing with light and shadow.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
CC: Ramiro-Diaz Granados; Looney Tunes; pop art; reclining nudes; extrusions; Delueze; “Bigness” (Rem Koolhass); Dora Epstein-Jones; John Portman; Aldo Rossi; Colin Rowe; and Peter Trummer.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
CC: Watching: Curb your Enthusiasm and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Listening to: Quincy Jones; bossa nova; Miles Davis; ODESZA; Mounika; Dave Brubeck; and John Coltrane.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
CC: P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S; Zago Architecture; Testa and Weiser; Herzog & de Meuron; Oyler Wu Collaborative; and EOM Architects.