Machine in the Garden

Year: Fall 2022
Course: Building Design with Landscape Studio
Instructor: Yara Feghali
Team: Charley Andrews

The Machine in the Garden is a demonstrative landscape that takes a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power substation and a subsumed fairway from an adjacent golf course to produce a functionalized space that complicates the picturesque presentation of the typical American park.

This project uses aerial imagery of the LADWP Owens Lake project as generative spatial material for reinterpreting the aesthetic conditions of the landscapes of the anthropocene. Diagrammatic methods are used to import the aesthetic and spatial character from a section of Owens Lake to populate an array of elements throughout the landscape that accommodate solar panels (XS), hydrogen storage tanks (M), and electrolytic hydrogen generators (XL). These systems producing green hydrogen are literal mechanisms for providing low-carbon power for LADWP while cohabitating the landscape with people and public programming.

Drawing from the abrupt discontinuities in the Owen’s Lake landscape of cuts, grading,and material artifacts, a logic of superposition is employed using a language of circuitry that accompanies the productive function of the landscape. As with circuit boards, the programmatic interventions each have a distinct formal instantiation or connection to the paths. The building program operates as a three-dimensional reflection of this principle with discrete zones of occupancy, linked by corridors and stairs, and privileges the didactic experience of viewing the machinery in the basement and on the land.