Grand Intervention: Water Torches

Grand Avenue Intervention:
Submission Gallery

Water Torches 

Submitted by WET Design, Los Angeles

To bring identity and an enlivened pedestrian environment to Grand Avenue in Los Angeles, WET Design has created an enhanced environment and experience for everyday and special events. Imagine a streetscape scaled more to the pedestrian than the auto, with excitement and elegance, which encourages walks day and night. Imagine Los Angeles having a vibrant place to fully celebrate the New Year, as well as other special events.

Sculptural torches of water rhythmically celebrate the length of Grand Avenue from Temple Street to Fourth Street. Slender columns rise up from the sidewalk curb to support water-filled glass prisms 26 feet in the air to be experienced by both motorists and pedestrians. These transparent chalices of water are brilliantly illuminated by the sun during the day and by internal white light at night creating a continuous display of dappled light. The upper dimensions of the WaterTorches? are reflected with colorful stone embedded in the sidewalk and street paving below.

Taking advantage of the possibility to pass pulsating jets of water through the street openings of ?upper? Grand Avenue from ?lower? Grand Avenue, a current unsightly situation can be reversed into an exciting and unique opportunity for celebratory expression. A calmer, and calming, expression of water, or none at all, can occur on the day to day schedule. Only water and light can have this truly temporal ability to occupy space and time. Beyond the open median channels at ?upper? Grand Avenue, water jets can be included in a median strategy, with additional crosswalks inserted mid-block, to continue along the avenue with a mix of landscape elements and self-contained, vertical waterwalls. In the evening, the jets and planes of water are brightly illuminated with white light. The water jets can be fully programmable to form rhythmic patterns and chases, and can provide the countdown expression for the New Year?s Eve celebration on the West Coast.