Grand Intervention: Land Bridges & Terraces

Grand Avenue Intervention:
Submission Gallery

Land Bridges & Terraces 

Submitted by Mia Lehrer+Associates; David Fletcher (lead designer), Jae Uck Ahn, Christopher Alexander, Mia Lehrer & Alexander Robinson

To reinforce the importance of public open space in the city, Mia Lehrer+Associates proposes a series of bold, terraced landscapes, which link the cultural spine of Grand Avenue with City Hall, transforming underutilized areas to programmable above- and below-grade gathering zones. The terraces will draw visitors through the space via gradations of scale, surface materials and water elements. They will create iconic gateways into the park and establish physical and visual linkages to surrounding landmarks.

This dynamic scheme links four divided city blocks of sloping terrain into larger unified spaces, through a series of terraces and land bridges.

The Sky Terrace spans Grand Avenue and connects the Music Center Plaza with the open area, flanked by the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration and the Stanley Mosk Los Angeles County Courthouse. The mid-terrace is transformed into a forest of slender columns and trees, which puncture the roof plane and fill the covered space with dappled light. Water wells funnel gray water reclaimed from surrounding buildings into forest pools below. An interactive ecology pavilion and café anchor the eastern edge of the space.

The People’s Terrace transforms the sloping block between Grand Avenue and Hill Street into a flat, programmable zone. The terrace extends above Hill Street and is bifurcated by a prominent stairwell, which draws the public into the park.

The Meadow Terrace links the two blocks bordered by Hill Street and Spring Street into one continuous land mass. The western edge of this terrace is peeled up from the ground surface to create a dramatic canopy for the Metro station. Across the street from City Hall, this terrace morphs into the roof for an amphitheater. A portion of the eastern edge of this terrace also splits down into a ramping plane that extends down to Spring Street and operates as the seating bowl for the public stage.

The proposed scheme responds to surface and sub-surface flows and desire line which, to a great degree, determine form.

We propose consolidating surface parking into a new above/below ground structure at the southeast corner of the site. A portion of the revenue from parking fees would help offset the costs of park maintenance.

The scheme extends and pulls terraces and programmable surfaces in the direction of the dominant flows. Subtle ramps and programmable stairways activate and inform the spaces.

We propose a clarification of the "urban void," to return the civic valley to its sublime splendor, to offer three terraces that each may be appropriated by a variety of users with diverse purposes.