A mini golf obstacle designed and hand built for a community event in the Echo Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles.
This obstacle brings together a number of themes and ideas about Los Angeles in an absurd architectural object that in turn playfully mimics one of the traditional typologies of mini-golf itself - the windmill.
Part wind turbine, part palm tree and part residential tower, the object addresses issues of densification and verticality; renewable technologies and sustainability; and iconicism + symbolism. It plays with images of a future LA that is denser, taller and more environmentally responsible whilst also revelling in the city’s historic iconography.
In homage to the 'L.A. School' - a group of young architects that included Frederick Fisher, Eric Owen Moss, Thom Mayne and Frank Gehry who were challenging the prevailing modernist architectural landscape of Los Angeles in the 70s and 80s - the obstacle is constructed in 'Decon' style using everyday materials from the local DIY store. A simple timber frame is wrapped in metal shingles and topped with a windmill blade cut from corrugated green plastic roofing. Cartoonish yellow windows, a projecting red porch and blue pyramidal roof imitate the 'PoMo' style found in such examples of domestic architecture as the the 2-4-6-8 House by Morphosis in 1978, and the Caplin House by Frederick Fisher in 1979.
An electric motor slowly rotates the blades to sweep in front of the tunnel opening at regular intervals, challenging participants to perfectly time their stoke in order to score that ever elusive hole-in-one.