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a project by m. claudia montesinos

This investigation begins by asking why photovoltaic technology has not played an engaging and practical role in the architecture and infrastructure of Los Angeles, a city wealthy in the resource of solar energy. A series of sketch projects, culminating in the proposal below, contend that the city is “relievable” via the versatile and flexible characteristics of photovoltaic material. A large scale intervention for a mixed use street corner at Vernon and Central Avenues seeks to improve and energize existing urban typologies by creating renewable energy environments.

The proposal: A parking lot/courtyard between two bar buildings which house retail, food, education and public services with SRO housing above. The canopy stretched over the courtyard supports a grid of photovoltaic material that provides energy for the electric vehicle charging stations below. The south facing upper levels of both buildings are strung with light-filtering PV modules servicing its housing units.

As a public space the courtyard becomes a refuge from unshaded sidewalks, an extension of a bus stop, and a waiting area for electric vehicle owners having lunch, doing laundry, or participating in the surrounding pedestrian-oriented business district.