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Julianne Pineda

hillsideOverdrive: LA Constructs the Future 1940-1990 is a special exhibit being held at The Getty Museum from April 9 – July 21.  The first piece to catch my eye was a slide show of the Urban Networks in Los Angeles.  It started with the growth of the community over time, showing where people were settling and the movement out towards San Bernardino and Orange County.  Second, they showed the growth of the freeways by year.  When they overlaid the two together, you could see the movement of the freeways flow with the movement of the people.  This brought me back to our class discussions where we look at the needs of the people and community.  As landscape architects, we need to look at the movement of the people and letting your work flow with them.  It gave me an insight to county-wide planning which can be brought into a smaller scale when planning paths in our landscape.

Another piece I found was a drawing by Carlos Diniz of the Art Center College of Design by Craig Ellwood Associates (shown above).  This drawing caught my eye because of the idea of the line in the landscape.  The building creates a boundary in between the top and the bottom of the landscapes.  The line put above it emphasizes the valley beneath.  In the same way, the mountains above are highlighted by the straight line below it.  This also made me reflect on the idea of adding or subtracting from the landscape.  As you can see, the building is placed on top.  The valley below also stresses this because it looks like the building is sitting above it.  This dip however made me think of what would happen if the building was placed below instead.  If the architects used the idea of digging or taking away, only that little pocket (in the valley) would be seen from this view.  I think that would have been an interesting way to look at the same line.

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The TEK (Technology, Entertainment & Knowledge Centre) building, planned for an urban block in Taiwan, was designed by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) Architects.  It is a cubed building consisting of a hotel, shops, showrooms, offices, restaurants, and galleries in the center.  The outside, however, is made up of planes laid on top of each other to create a spacious spiral staircase.  The bottom of this staircase starts right off the public street and works its way all the way to the top where there is an open “rooftop” space.  The roof is not the only open space; there are holes that follow the path that create a sense of being outside with the comfort of shade under the spiral.

This building is talking the idea of a row of shops, offices, restaurants, and a hotel, and putting it in a vertical format.  Instead of taking up blocks of the city with all these businesses, along with a pathway for people traffic, BIG Architects took the usual horizontal plan and stacked them on top of each other to create a vertical space.  The public street flows straight into this space and the people can follow the path all the way to the top without entering any businesses.  This again mimics the idea of a path in between buildings that let’s people walk through without having to go inside.  However, the spiral staircase flips the horizontal axis to a vertical axis creating a path moving upwards instead of straight.  This building plays with the idea of public space moving from the horizontal axis to the vertical.

Grid and Dimension

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Urban Landscape Architecture by Bridget Vranckx

Ron Herman

Ron Herman’s Grid and Dimension works with the natural elements in the areas by taking them and mixing them up to create this staggered piece.

 

Osaka City University Medical Center Plaza

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Urban Landscape Architecture by Bridget Vranckx

Makoto Maburisaka, David Buok, Nikken Sekkei

The play on a dock in a lake gives the feel of being in nature while moving through the Medical Center Plaza.

 

Xochimilco National Park

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Urban Landscape Architecture by Bridget Vranckx

Mario Schjetnan, Jose Luis Perez; 1993

This change from a path into a bridge along with using different elements creates a break in the park which mirrors the break from land to water.

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Post 4 (Thematic):

I have been to Cal-State Long Beach before, however, this was the first time I would actually go in and explore the campus.  The first thing I experienced was driving around.  The campus was pretty big so it had roads placed through and around it.  Having said that, their roads do engaging things like go straight, turn, and then loop back around.  The parts that caught my attention were the roundabouts.  They went around, but were cut in the middle so that cars could also go through it.  It was strange but interesting driving through those.

Going through the campus, I was looking for the best figure ground pictures.  I was trying to find three distinct areas so that they would create different diagrams.  The first place I found was the iconic pyramid.  I chose the beams supporting the pyramid as the figure.  Next, I went to the student union where I saw the water fountain that created an interesting shape.  Lastly, I found a open quad area with trees.  These three areas fit what I was looking for because my focus was on different textures and that’s what I got – smooth sharp beams, speckled water, and webbed trees.

After that, I met up with my friend and sat down to people watch.  Because of our past projects, I was curious to look at how people “used the space.”  We were sitting by the water fountain seeing if people used the bench around it.  Most people did usual things like sitting on it or lying down.  One person however used it to actually do tricks and flips.  He was making a video with his friends and he used the platform to jump and spin backwards.

In the end, exploring Cal-State Long Beach became a rewarding experience.  Driving around and looking at figure ground relationships gave me more knowledge on the subject.  Then, at the end of the day, I got to see interesting uses of normal seating.

Post 3 Revised (Chronological):

Going toward Cal-State Long Beach, the first thing I saw was the iconic pyramid on the north side of campus.  Driving through campus was really an adventure because of the odd shape of the roundabouts.  They would circle around, have a cut in the middle, and then circle back, which made me curious about them.

The first place I looked at was the pyramid.  I thought it was only a structure set on the ground; however, underneath were white beams supporting the pyramid.  They almost looked like upside down pyramids because there were four that came up from one point.  Additionally, I thought the pyramid was made of sheets of shinny black glass, however up-close they were actually blue panels that faced each other, making me wonder what made the pyramid look shiny from afar.

Afterwards, I saw the fountain that had three dandelion shaped balls for the water piece.  It was very interesting creating a figure ground relationship out of the fountain.  I had to decide what to focus on, whether it would be the structure or the water.  When focusing on the water, the figure became suspended dots in the air, however focusing on the structure created a textured figure.  I decided to go with the latter.

Lastly, I looked at the quad between the design and art buildings.  What caught my eye in this area were the arrangements of the trees.  They looked like they were moving back and forth because of the paths winding in between them.  Overall it was an interesting experience to focus on figure ground relationships.  Each part of the campus I looked at provided a different look to the figure ground contrast.

Original:

Driving through Cal-State Long Beach, the first thing I saw was the iconic pyramid on the north side of campus.  Right next to it, I noticed the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center where I have watched many PACNs (Pilipino American Culture Night) put on by CSULB PAC (Pilipino American Coalition).  Driving through campus was really an adventure because of the odd shape of the roundabouts.  They would circle around, cut in the middle, and then circle back, which made me curious about them.  We finally got around and parked in the lot by the Student Union.  In addition to taking a field trip outside of the area to look at figure ground relationships, I also wanted to stop by and see how PAC was doing.  We went to their meeting, which was held in beach auditorium.  They put on a play which was a spoof of Pitch Perfect.  It was entertaining and fun to watch my friends up on stage.  After catching up, my friend took me around campus to look at different areas.  The first place I asked to see was the pyramid.  I thought it was only a structure set on the ground; however, underneath were white beams supporting the pyramid.  They almost looked like upside down pyramids because there were four that came up from one point.  Additionally, I thought the pyramid was made of sheets of shinny black glass; however, when looking up-close, they were actually blue panels that faced each other.  It made me wonder what made the pyramid look shiny from afar.  Afterwards, she showed me the fountain that had three dandelion shaped balls for the water piece.  It was very interesting creating a figure ground relationship out of the fountain.  Lastly, she took me to the quad between the design and art buildings, her usual buildings.  What caught my eye in this area was the formation and arrangement of the trees.  They looked like they were moving back and forth because of the paths set in between them.  Overall it was an interesting experience to focus on figure ground relationships.

 

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At Cal-State Long Beach, there is a rectangular fountain with three dandelion-shaped objects in the middle that shoot out the water. When looking up close, the solidity of the structure is broken up by the water, creating a texture that is not originally there. Taking a step back, the form of the object becomes clearer and the repeated shapes create a rhythm. Looking even further back, the border around the fountain is more evident which highlights the extent of the space.