ARCH 698B: MLA Advanced Design Research Gallery: The Los Angeles River

Ecological Patterns – Bridge Between Existing Hydrology and Restoration Mandate

Presenting an alternative to the terracing proposal by the Army Corps of Engineers, this project instead proposes to use a pattern approach to organize a channel ecological revitalization. Patterns, as compared to terraces, also provide good habitat, as well as improved flood performance, a more natural aesthetic, one more authentic to the historic conditions. According to Karen M’Closkey, an expert on patterns in landscape architecture “Patterns can be used as bridging mechanisms between a landscape’s utilitarian and aesthetic functions” (2013)., within the LA River’s compromised situation, ecological patterns can bridge between often competing mandates for maintaining the existing hydrology and adding restoration-features. In this project, two patterns are tested, one for vegetation and another for a water feature.