Urban Revival: Little Tokyo
Creating a Cultural Catalyst

Description:
Located on the edge of Little Tokyo, the project site houses two museums, a monument for go for broke, a small community art theatre, and a small block of businesses and restaurants. The ratio of program to site is far too sparse for sustainable urbanism. With the development of the adjacent Alameda Metro Light Rail Terminal (LRT), it will become the new entrance into little Tokyo and provides an opportunity for the project site to become a catalyst towards a livable and sustainable urban downtown development.

Site Location:
34° 3'1.90"N, 118°14'21.92"W
110-152 N Central Avenue Block
Los Angeles, California 90013

Design intent:
While large urban blocks are deadly for a walkable city, they offer the opportunity to develop non vehicular urban blocks that can become a socially charged environment. This prototypical node can help re-stitch the urbanism that all L.A. residents crave. Faux urbanism like large enclosed shopping centers tend to neglect and degrade the community. This project explores the possibility of developing urbanism that revolves around culture rather than retail. Arguably, there is no such thing as total freedom from retail development, due to the basic true survival nature of institutions and businesses. However this project tries to offset the effect of retail through the enrichment of cultural and social interactions with the notion of enhancing the surrounding community. The project also focuses on "site specific" issues concerning the expansion of Little Tokyo and its re-connection to downtown. Lastly, this project emphasizes the stainability of large developments through the adaptive re-use and incorporating site reprogramming due to the changing demands and needs of nearby communities.

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