Reframing Vistas Superblock

Sandra Margarita Maestre, B.Arch '24

ARCH 202A: Architectural Design II

Gallery: A “SUPER!” BLOCK

Instructor: Farnoosh Rafaie

Burbank, similar to South Central LA, is very flat. The current building typologies mimic such flatness as they are all at nearly the same height. In contrast to South Central, Burbank sits at the foot of Verdugo Hills in the San Fernando Valley. Being close to such hills gives the city a strategic location as it has unique views, which are currently not taken advantage of.

The future superblock intends to give privileged views within a range of hierarchy. It would be known as the Vista Superblock.

This concept of superblock challenges the notion of Burbank’s current street makeup because of the bold verticality implemented. Whereas the rest of Burbank has a single language in building height and form, this superblock would greatly vary in heights of open spaces, meant for enjoying the views of not only the hills to one side but also of all of LA and Burbank, creating a panoramic sensation.

Housing in this superblock would be seen in the form of apartments rather than houses, which is the current dwelling typology. Apartments would be intended to be spacious and greatly consider the advantages of having open spaces such as terraces interweaving with closed spaces.

People that do not reside within the apartments would still be attracted to the zone since two major highways cut through the area. In the event that someone driving has time to spare, they would have to find parking and experience the superblock by foot as this is the way it is best experienced. Apart from the residential apartments, there is a skate park, playgrounds, and retail stores.

The project builds upwards and is using a building block system to attract people to the inside of the superblock, while allowing for unframed, partially framed, and framed views at different heights.


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