Toxic Island


The past legacies of corporate industrialization have negatively impacted Burbank’s community through toxic contamination of the San Fernando Valley watershed, one of which is Lockheed Corporation. The many chemicals improperly disposed of on-site, affect Burbank’s supply of potable groundwater and have been declared a Superfund site by the EPA.

"Burbank recycles 8% of its total municipal water supply, creating 4.75 billion
gallons of local water supply. However, the city discharges 2.5 billion gallons
of that recycled water every year (7 million gallons/day, or enough water for
56,000 residents daily needs) into the Western Channel, as unused excess."

Burbank took action of this during the 1980's and onward. What the project proposes to do is speed up this process of cleaning up the toxins and increasing the water table over a 15 year span.

Exhibition Space

By designing both, landscape and remediation strategies, new programs are implemented throughout each phase of the project.  This process will dilute pollutants in the groundwater and soil, while also increasing the water table.  Ultimately, Toxic Island is a proposal to remove toxins as well as celebrate characteristics of the site as an island.

Play Space
Event Area

In the first phase, a system is created from the watershed analysis, creating points where excavation occurs which are flood zones using recycled water that Burbank discharges into the channel as unused excess.

Within the first five years of this process, excavation and sifting the existing soil into new land formations is coupled with gaining public interest. Site tours through inflatable, temporary structures allow for reflective and educational spaces to exist during this highly toxic procedure.

Within five to ten years, the landform is formed into a series of mounds and depressions where storm water can be collected and treated for leisure programs.
After 5 years, the inflatables are removed and a more developed structure is built in the next phase. In this phase the watershed has created smaller points for flooding and a new system of directionality has been added. using these two systems together, mounds and depressions alter the land form helping it spatially for programs.

Finally after 15 years, rifting and eroding operations alter the landform and increase water flow while allowing for recreational programs on the site, creating flexible conditions for future events and program.

The project can also serve as a catalyst for Burbank, increasing land value and attracting people

  • Progression