Of all the vistas the recently completed Stoneview Nature Center provides, the one overlooking an active urban oil field is perhaps the most arresting.
The hillside nature center by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects (EYRC) and AHBE Landscape Architects is sandwiched on a former brownfield site between two popular recreational hiking areas, a residential neighborhood, and the Inglewood Oil Field, the largest urban oil field in the country. The nature center connects a string of existing trails while also providing educational and community spaces focused on healthy living.
EYRC describes the 4,000-square-foot community center as low-slung and “almost residential” in character. The center is anchored by a red and black steel awning that provides covered outdoor space for hosting outdoor cooking demonstrations, gardening sessions, and landscape history classes, as well as more conventional recreational activities.
Next to this structure is an edible community garden and an outdoor classroom by AHBE. In the garden, sitting logs encircle an open plaza from which to explore nearby demonstration gardens. The gardens dissolve into the scrubby hillside trails that crisscross the mountainside and frame overlapping views of L.A.’s agricultural and industrial landscapes.
Architect: Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects
Landscape architect: AHBE Landscape Architects