Los Angeles, CA

Darina Zlateva, Takuma Ono, Helen Han, Ryan Leidner, Matt Storus

High Resolution PDF Panels  Panel 1

HYDRO-GENIC CITY 2020 aims to expose and provoke a new relationship to waterworks.

There is an urgency to find integrated and intelligent solutions for supplanting and diversifying water sources. Climate change disrupts the annual water flow cycle while population growth and economic development impose growing demands on a shrinking water supply. Worldwide, water shortages and the need to control water resources remain a source of political tensions and health concerns.

In the United States the majority of fastest growing cities are located in the arid Southwest and the existing supplies from the Sierra Nevada and Colorado River basin are vulnerable to loss from warming. The city of Los Angeles imports as much as 85% of its water from these basins and was chosen as pilot location.

This project envisions a decentralized network of environmentally friendly and aesthetically compelling wastewater reclamation centers. The process of water treatment acts as the connective tissue through an environment that provokes a renewed relationship to water. As water flows into passive treatment, it becomes an interactive element in the form of remediation wetlands, shallow channels, and swimming pools. Finally, reclaimed water is re-distributed to a variety of direct uses.

Each reclamation center provides a sustainable water source to the city. The mechanistic infrastructure of waterworks is transformed into an interactive and sensory series of public nodes. As mist platforms, solar-encased water tanks, urban beaches, aquatic parking lots, reflecting pools and channels, water-based landscapes become organizational moments for community building.