UCLA Chiller Plant / Cogeneration Facility | HHPJ architecture
That the natural penetrates even to our densest urban cores is obvious in the immense efforts expended to mitigate her effects there: vast power plants are erected to turn back the night, chiller plants are built to alleviate the heat of the day and steam generators to transform the cool of the night. Yet we are generally embarrassed by these efforts—the often beautiful artifacts engineered to provide this light, cold and heat are hidden away, where they are not able to remind us of the effort and energy required to enjoy life in unnaturally dense environments of our cities. To reveal these measures is, in a way, to celebrate the power of the natural conditions they mitigate—and to hope that in mitigating their effects we do not forget we are never actually free from them.
Commissioned through a limited design/construct competition, UCLA’s new South Campus Chiller Plant celebrates the machinery of infrastructure. While sensitive to its surroundings, the use of familiar materials and architectural treatments is critical in application, rather than imitative. The building is not a mute box. It does not insist on hiding plant machinery, but proudly displays the inherently engaging qualities of technology as an integrated and carefully considered part of the composition. Architectural honesty is projected through the sophisticated interplay of its rich contextual palette and carefully expressed mechanical and electrical systems.
Wes Jones’ own company are currently looking to #Kickstart a new run for their impossible to find book (because it’s great) Instrumental Form: Words, Buildings: Machines. Find out about it (and pledge your support) here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1275281214/instrumental-form-words-buildings-machines