Entry No. EC2626-F

La Celba D’en Medio invites us to walk through city and imagine the experience of walking through a bamboo forest. The design asks the visitor to look towards the sky and notice the light seeping through the cracks of the architecture, recalling the pleasure of glancing at lights bleeding through leaves. Bamboo is a relatively affordable wood product that grows quickly and is readily available. Because as humans both nature and shelter are our friends, it would be to our best interest to engage in architectural practices that are both sustainable and ‘natural’ and/or reminiscent of nature. By using environmentally sensitive building materials that can enhance the urban life style while simultaneously considering the needs of city users and city builders we are addressing multiple demands of the contemporary human experience.

La Celba D’en Medio is a retail space located in the middle of a hypothetical city; in this case, downtown Los Angeles. Beyond evoking a walk through the bamboo stilts, La Celba is a bamboo market. Los Callejones is a miles long alley retail space in downtown LA that parallels one of the major arteries of the city. La Celba is also an alley walk-through experience. The site was chose to be located in a Los Angles alley. The design is composed of fifty-five foot tall bamboo posts that lined the alley. The bamboo market consists of two story. On the bottom, ‘walk-though’ space, one would find the market. Two perforated, copper, vertical circulation elements – a circular staircase and a square elevator – lead the passerby to the second story; a terrace lounge overlooking downtown.

La Celba D’en Medio is a culmination of experiences that engages its uses in multiple memories and adventures. The idea for this experience was developed through the desire of creating sustainable and attainable spaces that can be accessed by all participants of the city. It is a democratic space without an emphasis on the hierarchy of entrances. City users would be asked to enter La Celba whenever they felt necessary. Vendors would line their products on the perforated metal tables as they saw fit; without permits or time constraints. Disc Jockeys would be able to bring their turntables up through the beautifully built vertical passages and onto the terrace to play music for the city, the drunks, the business women and men and the homeless late into the night and early into the morning.

La Celba D’en Medio is a bamboo market and terrace lounge that believes in the tolerance and creativity of city dwellers to utilize its beautiful ‘walk-through’ experience in ways not designed for but important and necessary nonetheless. La Celba is a home for city adventurers who need a space to come to at any time of the day or night; it is the Los Angeles that never closes and the hopeful desire to be in nature in the city. La Celba is home to all. La Celba is made of bamboo and it is a place everyone can be a part of; even in a city as diverse and spread as Los Angeles.

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