The Care Center Chronicles: Resolving, Shading, and Programming

Marc Rudy

Second year Cal Poly Pomona architecture students, under the guidance of our studio coordinator Mitchell De Jarnett, are on the verge of completing their designs for a marine mammal rescue and care center. Other faculty assisting students on their designs include Wendy Gilmartin, Jose Herrasti, Hunter Knight, and Katrin Terstegen. The site is on the southern edge of Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach. After visiting the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur, students were asked to design a center that will be used to investigate a number of basic assumptions regarding site and its role in generating an architectural project.

The marine mammal care center should have architecture that does the following:

(1) simultaneously engages notions of the particular, the systematic, and the normative which exists at the intersection of form, technique, and of circumstance.

(2) is on one level a technical endeavor, striving to achieve a specific level of performance both internally and externally operates as a ‘formal’ hinge and a ‘spatial’ filter between the external forces governing the Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve should build directly upon the experience with the grading and shading operations explored for the design of previous studio exercises.

The landscapes developed by students emerged from a figure ground study done earlier in the quarter. The figures became the pools for marine mammals as the ground became the landscape. Cut and fill was applied to each landscape to expand sustainable efforts. After analyzing the landscapes in a three dimensional perspective, a shading structure was applied to shade specific pools throughout specified time periods. Students then applied learned skills to create spatial programming based on their site conditions.

As of today, second year students have met with their studio instructors and received suggestions based on what they presented for midterm reviews. Students are now using these tips to better plan and program the spaces in anticipation for a successful final review. The students and faculty are overjoyed to be sharing our project updates with the California Sustainability Alliance.

Guest Author Bio: Marc Rudy is an accomplished architecture student, finishing up his second year. He is a current visual merchandising associate at Crate and Barrel The Grove, a digital fabrication lab operator, and an active AIAS member.