Posts tagged public art

All photos: Wendy Chan

Amongst the high rise buildings of Downtown Los Angeles are several hidden oases where one can enjoy their lunch, relax, and escape outdoors. There are many privately owned public spaces in Downtown that are hidden, each tucked in between buildings and terrace levels. Privately owned public spaces are publicly accessible plazas that building owners or developers provide in exchange for modification to the local zoning policy. For example, a developer is allowed to increase their leasable floor areas with higher buildings if they provide an outdoor space for the public. But some of these privately owned public spaces aren’t truly “public” due the plaza being locked from the public after work hours; security personal have the option to escort undesirable individuals from these supposed public spaces.

Follow the blue line…

One such terrace plaza space is located between The California Bank and Trust & KPMG building on the corner of 6th and Hope Street. The entrance is located on Hope Street and is accessible by a stairway with a blue line going through the center, leading visitors up to the terrace plaza and Sun Disk.

This plaza is enhanced with a public art component, part of the Public Art Program, organized by the Community Redevelopment Agency, and commissioned by Obayashi America Corporation with the Koll Company. The public art piece is called “Site /Memory / Reflection”. The plaque at the entrance reads, “A single work of art, “Site / Memory / Reflection consists of a numerous sculptural and architectural elements in alignment with each other. These elements draw a site together, relate it to the imagery of the Central Library, and suggest a spiritual universal whole.”

The art pieces were conceived by Lita Albuquerque in collobration with Kohn/Pederson/Fox, Langdon Wilson Architects, The SWA Group, Lonny Gans Associates, and Peter Carlson Enterprise.

The plaza is a great lunch spot, offering a shaded refuge from the sun and surrounding urban sounds of Downtown, mostly drowned out by a water feature named the Hemisphere Fountain. I often observe office workers enjoying their lunches here, conversing with their co-workers, with other Downtown denizens reading or lounging by themselves. The plaza does not appear to be gated from the Hope Street entrance, but there is a gate where the terrace plaza connects to the Central Library. The plaza is fairly quiet with ample seating, and a recommended escape during the summer heat (but it can be a bit chilly during the colder months).

Check out this public plaza oasis the next time you are looking for a spot to eat your lunch in Downtown Los Angeles!

SaveSave

All photos, except otherwise noted, by Heejae Lee

All photos, except otherwise noted, by Heejae Lee

A few of us recently decided to to take advantage of a warm and clear Friday afternoon to explore the city and visit one of our local parks. As many Angelenos have noticed, heard about, or seen via Instagram, MacArthur Park has been recently been transformed into one giant public art exhibition.

Wendy Chan, one of my fellow colleagues at AHBE, initiated our little afternoon sojourn. The following images below are a visual journal of what we saw and experienced at the park last week when we escaped from our computer screens for a few hours.

With our office located in downtown it was only a few stops on the Redline Metro for us to reach the park!

With our office located in downtown it was only a few stops on the Redline Metro for us to reach the park!

We had to stop by the historical Langer’s located right across from MacArthur Park for their world famous pastrami sandwiches! Creative Commons photo: Wally Gobetz

We had to stop by the historical Langer’s located right across from MacArthur Park for their world famous pastrami sandwiches! Creative Commons photo: Wally Gobetz

The transformed lake was an amazing exhibit that really brought out the life of the MacArthur Lake, an urban park often overlooked.

The transformed lake was an amazing exhibit that really brought out the life of the MacArthur Lake, an urban park often overlooked.

Organized by the L.A.-based arts nonprofit Portraits of Hope the manmade lake now holds about 2,500 colorful hand painted floating spheres, a display I think that’s well worth the time and travel to experience in person. For more information about The Spheres at MacArthur Park installation and the great story behind it, check out the FAQs and background website.

The exhibit also had photos of the local community members from hospitals and schools responsible for painting the colorful spheres floating across the water.

The exhibit also had photos of the local community members from hospitals and schools responsible for painting the colorful spheres floating across the water.

Image_4

Image_7

And just for safe measure, we had to take some selfies!

And just for safe measure, we had to take some selfies!