Gas stations and automobiles hold a particular place in the West’s cultural imagination. They once spoke to freedom of movement and invoked an excitement around potential change in our daily lives. However, the impact on our urban fabric and natural environment has been dramatic, unexpected and has not lived up to our original dream.
Created for the Pump-to-Plug symposium organized by the City of Los Angeles, USC’s Dornsife School, and Cleantech Incubator, Woods Bagot’s “Re-Charge LA,” sited at 749 Los Angeles Street, proposes an electric mobility hypothesis that reinvigorates and re-energizes future infrastructure.
At present, it can take several hours to recharge an EV. How to create an attractive, active town square drivers will want to linger in?
• How can electric charging stations be representative of their local communities, from Koreatown to East LA? • How do we promote the incredible forms of expression and cultural identity through a new type of automobile? • How do we create an adaptable and imbedded infrastructure that has different lives throughout the day and over time?
The first study was for the design of electric charging stations with landscape and community-serving elements. The second was for planning the future of obsolete gas station sites, with a focus on remediation, environmental justice, and potential conversion to housing.
The proposal imagines a charging station that would change throughout the day and over the years. In 2022 an adaptable canopy structure would provide multiple different uses: shade, solar panels, art billboard. On weekends a gathering of tricked out cars would also be projected on the screen and broadcast over the internet.
The ground surface is a layered infrastructure, with permeable pavers, inductive charger, information, and greenspace. These modules would also change over time.