Inter-Cambio

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INTER-CAMBIO: Immigration Transitional Center

Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, CA
250,600 gsf and 10 acre masterplan

DESCRIPTION: Lincoln Heights Inter_Cambio is an immigration transitional center designed as an adaptive reuse of the Historic Los Angeles City Jail, also known as the Lincoln Heights Jail. The underlying concept for this project is to transform the once dark dreary jail cells into voids that become liberating light shafts. The 250,600 square feet of proposed program consists of three main categories: Convenience, Immigration Services, and Community. Each of these categories are created to respect and maintain certain demographics for the Lincoln Heights area and prevent gentrification.

Another key feature of this project relates to its ability to connect to major routes of transportation. One of these connections is onsite and travels from Union Station to a new Metro Gold Line stop. Additional connections are Interstate Freeways (I-5 & I-110), as well other connections used to further the urban unity. Two of these key site connections are the convergence of the Los Angeles River with Arroyo Seco and Elysian Park. Both of these connections carve openings into the building, connecting the exterior to the interior light wells. The light wells create a visual connection from those passing by and consequently, allows the historic Lincoln Heights Jail to remain a visual landmark to the community.

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The main concept for this project is one of transformation. Originally the jail was seen as a negative, dark, oppressive, and uninviting place to visit. Our concept is to transform the once dark, dreary jail cells into voids that become inviting, liberating light shafts. The idea of going from captivity to liberation is the focus of this project’s title “Inter_Cambio” (Inter-Change). Also, the openings in the building that connect the exterior to the interior light wells will allow a visual connection to those passing by the building. For example, people who traverse the river bike path, those driving on the 110 interstate freeway, and passengers riding on the Metrolink or Gold Line will be able to see into the structure at certain moments. Consequently, this allows the historic Lincoln Heights Jail site to remain a landmark to the community.

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RECOGNITIONS + AWARDS:

1st Place- LA-USGBC-EGB Natural Talent Design Competition, 2008
National finalist USGBC-EGB Natural Talent Design Competition, 2008
AIA-IC Design Awards Exhibit, 2009
AIA-IC Sustainable Design Exhibit at Dos Lagos, 2009

DESIGN TEAM: Lang Lor and Brandon Ro

PROJECT CONTRIBUTIONS: masterplan development, adaptive reuse interior programming, parking structure design, LEED and sustainable strategies, wall and building envelope; climate, biodiversity, connectivity, and community program research; digital and print presentation materials, boards, diagrams, etc.

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