By Diego Linares
Architecture 202 students are developing a housing complex for the city of Vernon as their final project of the semester.
East Los Angeles College architecture Instructor Orhan Ayyuce was doing research to enter into the International Architecture Biannale of Rotterdam (IABR), but through research found that the city of Vernon wanted to develop a housing complex on 52nd and District Street.
Ayyuce then proposed the project to the IABR with the theme being “food and the production of food” and received funding.
Ayyuce, who is a senior editor at archinect.com, has been preparing his students since the beginning of the semester for everything that’s involved in their project.
The team will tackle this project on a site surrounded by meat-rendering plants, slaughterhouses and other suppliers of food for Southern California.
With a focus on urban design, the team will meet and lay out their floor-plans to bring a new structure to the city of Vernon.
During the spring semester, Ayyuce had students working on a project to design a museum of contemporary art for East Los Angeles. The museum was designed for the Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights.
The previous year, students worked on the the Sunset Triangle Plaza in Silverlake, to make it more pedestrian-friendly.
At weekly round-table discussions, Ayyuce and 21 students discuss concerns about politics and geography of the site where they are currently working.
“Like (Ayyuce) was telling us from the beginning, it’s like a big think tank. He kept telling us that he was going to treat us like a firm. So that when we get into the workplace this is what we’ll be dealing with,” team-member John Estrada said.
This city has seen its problems in politics and toxic refuge in the soil in recent years. This team seems determined to confront those problems.
“The city has arrived to a certain place, because of the political scandals and all that they had. There’s something about Vernon every day in the newspapers. What we are trying to do is conceptually make peace between the politics and the place,” Ayyuce said.
“Since we’re getting introduced to more of an urban design and more of a larger aspect, we have to deal with more issues and problems. We have to figure out solutions for those specific needs,” team-member Anthony Rodriguez said.
The students have learned to appreciate their professor and will look to him for guidance.
“I love this professor. I feel like he’s expanded our minds so much.With this project, it’s like he’s letting us into something that’s his and letting us explore it. We’re learning a lot,” Estrada said.