Soto Station Public Market
Clenel Williams, Assoc. AIA
The Soto Station project balances the needs of commuters and the local neighborhood.
The Metro Gold Line connects East LA to the greater Los Angeles area running through Downtown, Pasadena, Azusa, and finally terminating in the Inland Empire. The neighborhood of Boyle Heights hosts four heavily utilized Gold Line Metro stations despite their poor integration within the city's larger urban fabric. The project focuses on the most utilized station, Soto Station, as an urban model for the other stations with an approach centered around community need, street vending, and peak travel time.
After the installation of Soto Station, many of Boyle Height's residents lost direct access to their local and culture-specific supermarket. Most of the Metro traffic takes place below grade, through an elongated procession of meandering stairs, escalators, and elevators. Understanding this, a proposed market space will accompany Soto's underdeveloped site.
Waiting is unavoidable when dealing with public transportation. This design exploits circulation, allowing users to determine their own path. These paths vary between direct to indirect, and cater to AM and PM commuter traffic. The architecture allows for morning commuters to reach the below-grade metro station, while enticing evening commuters to experience a prolonged route to reach grade level. With these options, the design allows users to dictate their own waiting experience.