Los Angeles was incorporated in 1850, almost 100 years after its settlement in El Pueblo near the L.A. River. The railroads came to Los Angeles in the late 1800’s and with them came a huge migration of a diverse group people from the east coast as well as Mexico. By 1890, the population had climbed up to fifty thousand and was growing rapidly. By the early 1900’s, with the completion of the aqueduct, Los Angeles’ growing population found strength in agriculture and it became a key component of the economy and social make up of the region. By 1930, Los Angeles became an agricultural and manufacturing center of the west coast having annexed the San Fernando Valley and the San Pedro port. People from all over the country realized this and during the 1930’s, the Midwestern drought brought tens of thousands of people to Los Angeles looking for jobs and hope. By 1950, L.A.’s excellent weather, it’s quickly growing population, a combination of super highways, affordable housing, and opportunity for everyone became the catalyst for Los Angeles to become the sprawling metropolis that it is today.
Something evident in our society today is the unconscious and physical separation that occurs from existing infrastructure. They divide communities, create tension on territorial grounds, and further promote an isolated understanding of society.
Realistically this concrete strip could hardly be called a river, it holds no natural aspects, and has been completely controlled by the hand of man. The project introduces the merging of two communities with a typology creating a focus point on this sunken division line in Los Angeles as a key component in the masterplan. The contrast between the permanent and temporary program creates the necessary instability to keep these spaces evolving. The program is becomes a catalyst providing the site with constant activity throughout the day. The living space, public markets, park space, and small business venues are responsible for providing the built environment, yet the user will manifest his/her daily schedule to reflect a river’s changing conditions through a range of activities. The environment will consistently change with the season to bring a range of color palettes, scents of produce and seasonal flowers, as well as hide and reveal open spaces with the change in water height.