On approach to LAX, the descent of continuous passenger jets is captured as a spectacle and as an organizing principal in the 500 unit hotel … Read More
On approach to LAX, the descent of continuous passenger jets is captured as a spectacle and as an organizing principal in the 500 unit hotel “Fractured Descent”. The 1200’ ramp that slices through the site puts the user directly on axis with the southern runway of LAX. It divides the hotel into two wings, north and south. The spaces that occur between the hotel and the ramp are conceived of as sunken gardens, signifying the fracturing and sinking of the ground surface above. The sunken gardens allow light to penetrate the interior, even as you continue to descend deeper into the Earth. In addition to the gardens, lightwells allow the deep spaces to be penetrated with natural light, and the vertical nature of the light well always creates a visual relationship with the airplanes above. The sunken garden walls embellish the rough nature of the earth and create the sensation of being underground. At the lowest level, you find yourself on a natural surface, but that is carved 90’ into the earth. And as the central building hovers over top the undulating, rocky landscape, its relationship to the two hotel wings frame periodic views of the passing airplanes overhead.
All of the hotel units open up to the canted concrete retaining wall to the rear of the unit. The canted wall allows light to be washed all the way to the lower units. This relationship to the wall creates an intimate atmoshphere for each individual unit, and gives the guest a sense of privacy, as well as the sensational feeling of being underground. The combination of the user relationship to the earth (underground) and the sky (airplane) creates a strange yet sensational dynamism that permeates the building entirely. Read Less