It's now officially official: the Metro board voted today to hire LA-based Gruen Associates and UK-based Grimshaw Architects to create a master plan for Union Station and about 40 acres surrounding it (Metro bought the station and land last year). The idea is to jumpstart the area and hook it up with the surrounding neighborhoods and already-happening Downtown. According to a press release, "The master planning process will encompass near term passenger and other circulation improvements as well as longer term rail and joint development opportunities, including an analysis of high speed rail station alternatives. It also will create better access for pedestrians and bicyclists and clearer linkages among the transit modes on site. Finally, the master plan team is charged with exploring close linkages with Union Station’s neighbors and downtown itself that will support and catalyze activities in the city around the station."
Metro hopes to have the plan finished up in 18 to 24 months; the first step "will be a focused community outreach program that will solicit input from neighbors, particularly Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Boyle Heights and El Pueblo." Gruen and Grimshaw will work with a huge team that also includes Cityworks Design for urban design work, Historic Resources Group for historic restoration work, and Mia Lehrer + Associates for landscape architecture. This team beat out five others, including ones led by starchitecture firms Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Foster + Partners.
· 6 Visions For a Dream Union Station Neighborhood of 2050 [Curbed LA]