South Los Angeles has long been an area of neglect and depravity. Racial tensions and a total lack of public amenity have turned many towards crime as an escape from poverty. The infusion of a new technical and trade school within an industrial zone will provide public space, educate the community, and restore the area to a prosperous self-sustaining neighborhood. City governance is highly reluctant to change zoning codes or grant variances. The project is forced to lift itself above the existing infrastructure in order to abide by the ordinances.
A new pedestrian network and walking community are replicated above the existing industrial zone, where several buildings on the ground plane are repurposed in order to act as service and circulatory cores. The new network occurs on the third level where tensions are created by contrasting rectilinear and curvilinear geometries. The curvilinear objects represent the circulation and connective tissue between programs. This manifests itself in a tube object that serves many different purposes, from the creation of facade treatment, cutting away from the rectilinear grid to form vertical cores, to shading elements.
The tube’s intersection with the rectilinear objects calls into question the use and organization of those spaces, redefining the notion of what the operation or use of a library is or how people activate the public spaces.