Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) has designed a speculative system of interventions for the Los Angeles River that “examines the relationship between urbanization and water use to develop new models of densification that recognize and tap into existing ecological and infrastructural patterns.” Called WATERshed, the design is part of the A+D Museum’s ongoing “Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles” exhibition that explores new typologies of housing in Los Angeles.
With their model for urban regeneration, LOHA hopes to address issues like the ongoing California drought, as well as the United Nation’s prediction that by 2030, nearly half of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress. Thus, the plan utilizes the Los Angeles River as a resource for water use and management in order to provide a path for sustainable growth in Los Angeles, and an example for other cities.
Focusing specifically on the Elysian Valley neighborhood, WATERshed is composed of living and public space, as well as water-based infrastructure, all of which form a “hybrid patchwork that will capture, recycle, purify, loop, and reconnect ground and stormwater back to the water table and the Los Angeles River.”
Much of the design’s elements are sited in traditionally underutilized urban spaces to create zones of social, cultural, and economic exchange. In addition, WATERshed incorporates more public and shared spaces, branching out from typical standards of single and multi-family housing arrangements, and helping to offset affordability issues by distributing costs among larger groups and communities.
A focus of the WATERshed design is the facilitation of greater water collection during high-concentration water events, allowing for “the replenishment of new localized groundwater storage mechanisms, existing underground aquifers, and infrastructural water networks, including the L.A. River, amid times of drought.”
Learn more about the project here.
News via Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA).