• Week 1 - TAYLOR YARD - Analysis

    Week 1 - TAYLOR YARD - Analysis

    The week focused on developing a diagrammatic master plan strategy outlining a potential future for the site as the first major intervention along the length of the LA River.

  • Week 2 - TAYLOR YARD - Intervention

    Week 2 - TAYLOR YARD - Intervention

    Our master plan addresses two main goals: breaking the wall along the river’s edge and retaining some of the site’s history. We perforated the concrete wall, but kept concrete as a prominent feature along the bank because we valued its aesthetic. By reusing the central rail turntable, we acknowledge Taylor Yard’s history. With Rio Beach, we wanted to create a “beach” that Angelinos on the east side of the city can easily access—a park that is highly programmable and uses the river as an amenity.

  • Week 3 - UNION STATION - Analysis

    Week 3 - UNION STATION - Analysis

    We walked down Temple Street and saw three main districts along the way. In the Civic district, we saw large, impersonal buildings
    that were built for religious and governmental institutions: courthouses, county buildings, and cathedrals. The landscape surrounding the buildings seemed like wasted space, but the
    trees along the street were large and lush, creating a wonderful canopy. The sidewalks were unfortunately difficult to navigate because of the physical barriers created by the bollards outside all of the governmental buildings. As we reached the bottom of the hill, at Alameda Street, the tone shifted dramatically. We entered the Industrial/Art district, which is just north of some highly active artistic hubs in a more open and seemingly empty zone. We stopped at the river, which separated the Industrial/Art district on the west from the Residential district on the east.”

  • Week 4 - UNION STATION - ConstaLAtion

    Week 4 - UNION STATION - ConstaLAtion

    While researching the area, I learned of numerous plans and master plans to be developed many years down the line, if they ever get realized. I’m proposing immediate action that builds momentum leading up to these developments while making our lives more enjoyable in the short-term. Art and community events will be dispersed throughout the Union Station area with a constellation-like approach, connected and part of a larger system. The artistic energy from the nearby Arts District would radiate into the larger downtown.

Sam Sikanas


I believe my rural Michigan upbringing, my warm heart, and my artistic sensibility are the strongest influences on my design work. My hometown was something I wanted to escape when I was younger, a place that seemed vast, but suffocating at the same time. The open fields, forests, and lakes were in contrast to the closed minds. When I left to study Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan, I focused my academics on cities, a place I saw opportunity. Working with, and living in, the city of Detroit during this time, I saw inequality and blocks to that opportunity. Combining my love for people and the environment, I came to landscape architecture, the perfect occupation for me. I’m currently pursuing my Masters of Landscape Architecture at the University of Michigan, where I am particularly interested in temporary landscapes, in communication, and in public health. I’m excited to come to Los Angeles so I can put my experiences to use in a new environment, surrounded by inspiring people.