SiNK is a competition-winning design of a single mini golf hole, tasked with investigating and responding to a contemporary condition in Los Angeles. Its design responds to the reality that 60% of California’s water comes from underground aquifers, and is being consumed faster than it can be restored. Groundwater over-drafting can cause subsidence (sinking of the land), which leads to property and infrastructure damage. Due to the hidden subsurface water landscape, misuse in one location can have devastating effects in a completely different, seemingly unrelated area.

Meanwhile, as Los Angeles struggles with water management, mini golf is critiqued for wastefully running water as entertainment: fountains, ponds, and creeks are all designed into the courses as either obstacle or aesthetic.

At first glance, SiNK seems easy, even for a beginner: a seemingly flat roadway, free from any physical obstacles, would assure a hole in one. But the field is actually fluid, and upon stepping onto the surface, the player’s weight displaces the topography and shifts the direction of the ball in unexpected turns. Two holes, side by side, allow two users to play at once, their movements affecting their own course’s topography as well as their neighbor’s game. Golf isn’t a solo sport; to win, players must focus on their shot as well as the unseen, but critical, issue of groundwater depletion.

Client: Materials & Applications

Program: Cultural, Public Art, Recreation

Status: Built

Size: 100 SF

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Architect: KM,A (Kyle May, Maria Moersen)
Consultants: M.Ludvik & Co. Consulting Engineers – Michael Ludvik
Sponsors: Polyglass USA (waterproofing membrane)
Fabrication: KM,A

Images: KM,A