Grand Intervention: Transforming Surfaces & Transplanting Programming

Grand Avenue Intervention:
Submission Gallery

Transforming Surfaces & Transplanting Programming 

Submitted by Lita Albuquerque, Mitchell De Jarnett and Mohamed Sharif, Los Angeles

Three organizational principles lie at the heart of our proposal to articulate a social sphere between public institutions and the city; the first two are infrastructural in nature – their focus is on horizontal and vertical surfaces; the third is programmatic in ambition. All three are libertarian in spirit and synergistic in intent.

Vehicular Access Enhancements
In order for the park to succeed it must integrate a clear surface vehicular and parking system. This will enable greater accessibility, prompt a new range of city uses and functions, and will therefore rejuvenate the space with a vital social and civil dimension. The narrower width will bring to the park a more imageable and manageable scale. Consequently the north-south axis from the civic cultural venues to city hall will no longer be inert and anonymous.

Surface Reductions and Facade Augmentations
The existing horizontal surface will be made porous and transparent in many areas. The perforated geological/digital/vegetal surface will mediate between landscape, street and subterranean parking. vertical relationships will be made clearly evident via a network of light and air apertures. This network will give measure to a once scale-less surface. Its notational qualities will invite various uses and activities. Beneath this diaphanous surface will be a pedestrian passage connecting the cathedral plaza to the city beyond.

This lightness and transparency will extend vertically to new veil-like structures prosthetically attached to the existing buildings. These serve as new horizontal circulatory armatures whose filigree surfaces will be animated by those travelling within. The relationship between interior and landscape will be generous and open. The armatures will be registered along both Temple and First in the form of porticos of similar treatment and bold scale. Public amenities will be housed along the ground level at useful locations within the armatures.

Programmatic Transplants
We propose that a new museum of the city be housed in a bar-like building hovering above Grand Avenue and between the two existing buildings. The new portal will concretize a threshold to the park and strengthen the current urban grammar of open and enclosed spaces and their axial relationships with object-buildings.

We also propose that the roof of the Hall of Administration become home to a public middle – high school. The school, close to public transportaton nodes, will be ideally located. Its students will benefit from proximate civic amenities, open space and vibrant city communities.