Garden of Senses

Kahli Merriman, M.Arch '23


ARCH 505B: Graduate Architecture Design I

Gallery: Clusters and Aggregates: Housing and Urbanism

Instructor: Sandra Yum

The Garden of Senses complex aims to bring a unique residential experience to both the immediate residents and the surrounding Van Nuys community. This is due to its indoor/outdoor living approach as well as by prioritizing urban greenery and shaping outdoor space in order to create intimate relationships and interactive experiences between the user and the pleasant Los Angeles climate. Within the units, each resident can find themselves seamlessly connected to the outdoors at all times by using pocket walls to integrate patios and light wells into the once interior spaces, as well as by occupying their garden rooftops that are shared with their adjacent neighbor. On the site grounds, both residents and the larger community can find themselves in a pedestrian-centric garden maze that has a variety of communal spaces and gardens that provide satisfying surprises at every turn. They can also find themselves being social at the produce square where community members can exchange fresh foods, plants, and seeds. Overall, this housing complex aims to create a lush garden site that provides an unpredictable and meaningful pedestrian experience that stimulates all of one’s senses, and open to both residents and the citizens of Van Nuys as a whole.


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