The Invisible Creek | The Temescal
Perhaps no other element better explains the reasons for settlement and congregation in this site than the Temescal Creek. Prior to the shellmound, the Temescal’s entry into the bay established this location as a fertile, abundant ground worthy of habitation. In recognizing the underlying presence of the river in the context of a bay now rich with other measures of abundance and progress, we are able to harness a natural pattern in the site.
Even though the creek boundaries are now defined by concrete channels, its significance is fundamental to the project and to the history of the site.
The ubiquitous sound of water permeates exhibit areas by way of a series of concrete vaults through which water circulates beneath the walkways. The resonant volumes of the water boxes magnify the sound of water and call to mind the Temescal’s presence and its relationship to the site’s historical context.
Walkways circumscribe the creek’s perimeter. The aural qualities of a water feature ‘invisibly’ running beneath the walkways parallel to the creek channels, symbolize the relationship of the Temescal to the adjacent land and its inhabitants.
A low water basin at the edge of the creek pours water slowly over its edges, catching the reflection of the Shellmound Volume’s arches and cables on its surface. Raw timbers placed at the edge of this reflective basin provide a place for seating and pause.