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Here Are the 4 Proposals For Redesigning Much-Hated Pershing Square

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All possibilities would create a significantly greener park on this site in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles

The announcement that Downtown LA's concretey and much-loathed Pershing Square would be getting a comprehensive makeover came in September and since then, the 10 design finalists have been narrowed down to four. Now, Pershing Square Renew, the nonprofit tasked with overseeing the redesign, has revealed the final presentations from each of those four teams: Agence Ter and Team, James Corner Field Operations, SWA/Morphosis, and wHY + Civitas. A release from PSR says that the design jury will announce the winning team in May.

Agence Ter and Team

The central element of this team's proposal is probably the large "smart" canopy it adds to the park. The canopy would run the length of the park, from Fifth to Sixth along Hill Street, according to the proposal. Under the "glowing cloud" of the canopy, there will be kiosks set up to hide stairs to the underground parking area and also to serve "public and commercial functions."

The park will host a variety of themed gardens—Sun Garden, Wind Garden, Edible Garden, Moonlight Garden—and a canopy of trees along Olive Street. There's also a main lawn that will be used for events (in the renderings it's shown mid-film screening) and is imagined for both free and ticketed events.

James Corner Field Operations with Frederick Fisher & Partners

In among the park's garden are areas for "community use," like a playground along Hill Street with a giant rock featured in renderings of the firm's proposal. "Other gardens include a hammock grove, a picnic area and a dog run." All along Sixth Street, there would be a "lawn terrace" that invites "casual lounging...and picnics." The terrace will have overlook points and a balcony.

More greenery comes via trellised canopies on the eastern and western sides of the park, which would also extend all the way down to the garage level.

Under this plan, all the corners of the space would have something to draw people in—the corner at Sixth and Olive, for example, would have a restaurant and cafe.

SWA | Morphosis

This group's plan "creates a park that is active throughout the day and evening, anchored by dining, concessions, and green-tech educational facilities," according to materials accompanying their final renderings. In addition to an area for kids to play and a flower garden, there would be a large lawn "maintained by a sustainable wetland water feature." The tower in the background of many of the renderings is referred to as "a solar-powered hydroponic urban farming tower."

wHY with Civitas

wHY's got lots of cool names for the elements in its proposal. The Green is the central lawn area with walkways, seating, and movable tables; this would be irrigated with reused water. The Grapevine is the name for the woven, vine-covered shade structure in the park; it's patterned on LA's freeways. More than one area of the park would also have misting devices. wHY's plan would also bring "alternative and sustainable water filtration and conservation systems by bringing underground water to plant lives above."

Pershing Square

532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, CA