Los Angeles is in for a lot of (proposed) change, especially in its downtown core. Yesterday, the City of L.A. announced Mia Lehrer + Associates and OMA as the winners of a competition to design a new public park called the FAB Park. The winning team was selected out of a competitive shortlist that included AECOM, Brooks + Scarpa, and Eric Owen Moss Architects. The announcement comes just a few weeks after French landscape architects Agence TER won the Pershing Square Renew competition with their “radically flat” approach.
Proposed for the well-trafficked streets of First and Broadway in downtown L.A., the 1.96-acre FAB Park will integrate “the themes of food, art, and land to celebrate the exceptional diversity of Los Angeles”, MLA describes. The City's Bureau of Engineering will be in charge of project management.
Read on for more about the project from MLA.
The FAB Park will continue to add to the much-needed greenery in DTLA. The MLA + OMA team's proposal includes lush groves of mature sycamore and oak trees, as well as sculpted leaf-like shade canopies that OMA designed to provide cool relaxing spots during those sunny L.A. days. The park's "Gallery" functions as a central space to host food fairs, art installations, and a variety of public events. It also has shaded outdoor rooms where small groups are welcome to gather.
“The design maximizes the site's potential to draw in the diverse mix of people that live, work, and visit downtown, providing a comfortably cool space of respite and a dynamic place for cultural events,” MLA describes.
OMA also designed the split-level restaurant where visitors can stop by for either a quick bite or linger for a fancier dining experience.
“FAB Park will be a meeting point for civil servants, journalists, arts patrons and DTLA residents,” says OMA Partner Jason Long. “Our design for the restaurant is a dynamic building that facilitates two distinct levels of service: quick and casual on the ground, refined and elegant above. Each level activates diverse experiences ranging from café to test kitchen to amphitheater seating.”
FAB Park will also promote on and off-site events through user-experience design by IDEO and art curation by Marc Pally. Last but not least, the park incorporates sustainable elements to ultimately achieve net-zero energy, including on-site stormwater capture, treatment, and infiltration, as well as California-native plants to reduce the need for water and maintenance.
The City of L.A.'s Department of Recreation and Parks purchased the site as dedicated park land back in 2013, as part of their “50 Parks Initiative”. The Department then held a design competition last year seeking the most suitable concepts from local design firms. As a destination park, the winning FAB Park proposal needed to stand out just enough, while still blend in with its urban surroundings.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to design this destination park, providing Los Angeles with a new place to experience to nature and culture,” says Mia Lehrer, the president of MLA. If all goes smoothly, the Fab Park is expected to open in 2019. In the meantime, there's still Grand Park and other public parks sprinkled throughout L.A. yearning for attention.
Images courtesy of Mia Lehrer + Associates.
Find photos of the project model in the gallery right below.
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