Westwood Village, an already insular area of West Los Angeles provides a rich programmatic context for a new kind of urbanism. The consistent increase of students at UCLA demands an increase in student housing and more efficient use of land. It also stages an area of localized and economy, providing all the amenities of an independent city.

We start with the contemporary givens of the city, namely that of extrusion and maximization of floor area. These two conditions often make for a massiveness lacking in public void space. Given design control over a large area, we exploit the potential to promote connectivity and networking of this mass.

To challenge this phenomenon we started to punctuate the city plinth level (usually a 1 to 6 story extruded mass) with public and private void space. We did this by constructing a tower and courtyard module that interlocks with itself. The design of this module inherently builds in void space, operating both horizontally and vertical, that then changes the usual extruded city mass into an airy city network, where city tower and city plinthe, verticality and horizontality seem together into a cohesive city lattice.

This typology allows for maximum density as well as maximum sun expose with as minimal shadowing as possible onto the 4-story lattice. While the towers remain thin (100M S.) clustering can lead to larger floor plate. This specific tower density and tower clustering generates the correct amount of surface area for the use of Solar Performative skin. LED’ lighting systems will define the new city’s aesthetic motif and ultimately become part of the general and programmatic gestalt. The LED’s that engulf the lattice constitute a direct output of the skins efficiency.

 

//site plan