Dan Accordino

  • FA.23
  • Level: undergraduate
  • Discipline: Architecture
  • Instructor: Mario Cipresso

The Oakwood neighborhood of Venice encapsulates all the qualities of prototypical Southern California “surfurbia” – ultra-low-rise homes; small, tightly packed lots; and a severe shortage of unprogrammed public greenspace. Within this context, an ideal community center might act more like a sleek, open pavilion in a park rather than a looming, enclosed building. This project seeks to create such a condition. By levitating the primary programmatic components above the site into the thickness of the pavilion’s thin, rhombus-shaped roof volume, the ground plane becomes completely free, and the pool can open up to the bowl-shaped site on all sides, recreating the classic California “beach” condition. Meanwhile, the height of the floating roof plinth still sits below the elevations of its single-story neighbors, minimizing its visual weight. Sliding glass doors along the perimeter and an operable skylight oculus allow the pool to alternate between “indoor” and “outdoor” at a moment’s notice. A screen of charred black wood louvers atop the polycarbonate-and-timber roof plinth de-materializes the volume and prompts its reading as “object” rather than “building.” Cave-like concrete locker rooms are buried underneath the site’s hilly topography, and the greenspace atop them becomes a new component of social infrastructure for the community to read a book, have a picnic, or simply coexist together.