Los Angeles Department of Water and PowerNorth Hollywood Pump Station
Hoyt, Charles K., Focus on: Fitting Infrastructure, Architectural Record. June 1994
11805 Vanowen Street
North Hollywood, California
Informing the Box: The North Hollywood Pump Station provides most of the water for central Los Angeles and fronts a major boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. For passing drivers, the massive concrete box that houses noisy pumps presents its blank front as a civic billboard - a car-scaled map that explains the building's function and furthers the DWP's "water awareness" program. Incised lines in the concrete the land mass inset - trace the route of aquaducts that convey water hundreds of miles to Los Angeles. The City appears on the map as a green light. Desert planting covers a dry berm below the map.
Civic Engineering: The tile curtain lifts above an arched window, its mullions fortified to stress the importance of the plant. For pedestrians, the window gives a view of the three largest pumps. An inscription in the paving of the small plaza explains the source of the water and the workings of the station.
AIA / California Council, 1993
AIA / Los Angeles, 1992
L.A. Cultural Affairs Commission, 1989
Fitting Infrastructure, Architectural Record, June
Photography: Tom Bonner