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Awards

2013 Awards

Design: Student Graduate Awards

Graduate Award

Collective Individualism at the Los Cerritos Wetland Complex
Seal Beach, CA
Lead Designer: Sarah Moos, UC Berkeley
Professor, Advisor: Marcel Wilson, Bionic Landscape

Los Cerritos Wetlands Complex—A 600 acre convoluted site evolves into an accessible hybrid landscape promoting the intersection of environmental, social, and economic systems on a new form of waterfront destination in southern California.
Context—Located on prime real estate along the San Gabriel River channel and the Pacific Coast Highway in Seal Beach, California, the Los Cerritos Wetlands Complex presents an opportunity to transform 600 acres of convoluted open space—land that is industrialized, contaminated, privatized, and concealed—into an accessible hybrid landscape promoting the intersection of environmental, social, and economic systems.
Collective Individualism—To ensure individuals achieve their needs, southern California has devised freeway networks allowing rapid and collective flow across the urban landscape. Translated to Los Cerritos, how can systems be rearranged to provide a network of interacting, overlapping, and coexisting flows?
Aligning Stakeholder Needs—Identification and rearrangement of stakeholder needs develops a network of coexisting systems that function as a collective flow, yet still promote individual interests.
Urban Wetland Complex—Shifting flows into and through the Los Cerritos Wetland Complex encourages a new type of Southern California waterfront destination: one that realigns history, culture, and ecology on an industrialized waterfront.
Creating A Wetland Over Time—4 Phases of wetland expansion occur on site. 1) Cut of unused land on the Bryant & Bixby Parcels. 2) Hellman Parcel “Temporary One-Way” Wetland. 3) Hellman Parcel “Two-Way” Wetland. 4) Los Cerritos Wetlands Completion.
Phased Development—4 Phases of development occur on site. 1) PCH local entertainment center and community oriented extension. 2) PCH regional entertainment center, community education development, and wetland waterfront recreation. 3) Cal State Long Beach college of agriculture and ecology, hillside creation, and reusing infrastructure. 4) Wetland waterfront recreation, community oriented development, neighborhoods extension, and educational development.
Phase 2 Temporary “One-Way” Wetland—A temporary system respects power plant infrastructural flow needs while introducing tidal flow to the site. Fetch length for wave breaks, colonization elevation, and deposition and re-suspension were studied through analytical analysis and physical modeling.
Collective Wetland Experience—Overlapping flows of humans, flora and fauna, and industrial technology permit on-site stakeholder enjoyment of this formerly isolated property of valuable waterfront.
On-site Fill—Contaminated cut soils are used as fill to create a new landform. Encapsulated and stabilized soil is used for an urban mountain biking course. Phytoremediation is used as a planted buffer between wetland
San Gabriel Bike Paths & Los Cerritos Urban Bike Course—Building on existing southern California paths, the Los Cerritos pathway network creates new flows of humans that interact, overlap, and coexist with the wetland edge and urban development.
Urban Mountain Biking Landform—Overlapping recreation, phytoremediation, transportation, and habitation through balanced on-site cut and fill.

Located on prime real estate along the Pacific Coast Highway and the San Gabriel River channel in Seal Beach, California, the Los Cerritos Wetlands Complex presents an opportunity to transform 600 acres of convoluted open space—land that is industrialized, urbanized, contaminated, privatized, and concealed—into an accessible landscape. The design aims to address the needs of a coastal wetland, a watershed scale hydraulic system, private energy-producing entities, and California residents. Progressive strategies attempt to preserve the desires of all stakeholders while introducing dynamic flows that function as a collective system to promote environmental, economic, and social growth.