On Thursday, the four finalists in a challenge to redesign Pershing Square revealed final presentations on how they'd makeover LA's most unsatisfying park space. Given that the presentations are all highly detailed and come with some pretty sleek-looking videos, we're going to take a look at each individually.
"The Landscape Starchitect"
This proposal was submitted by New York firm James Corner Field Operations--designer of the incredibly popular and nation-altering High Line park in Manhattan—with LA-based Frederick Fisher and Partners. Corner himself presents the team's proposal in this video presentation. Like the High Line, this proposed redesign incorporates historic elements of the space and offers plenty of greenery.
Taking cues from the park's geometric 1931 makeover (lovingly recreated here in video game format), Corner and his colleagues have centered their concept upon "strong diagonal connections" and a pair of raised triangular lawns. The northern lawn offers open space for "lounging and picnics," while the southern lawn has terraced seating and can be used as an event space for performances and outdoor film screenings. Both of these raised lawns would be constructed above a row of shops and restaurants on 5th and 6th streets that help to cleverly disguise entrances to the (temporarily free) underground parking structure.
In this design, the eastern and western portions of the park feature lots of drought-tolerant vegetation, along with a play area for children and a "dedicated dog run area" for the growing numbers of canines living Downtown. The center of the park is devoted to a "dramatic water feature that can be programed." The borders of the park along the Hill Street side are also designed so that the street can be closed off and incorporated into the park for special events and farmers markets. It's a simple but elegant proposal that incorporates some of the best elements of Pershing Square's many different designs over the years.