TAKE A SEAT
The metro stop site at Pershing Square is one of apathy towards its environment and inhabitants. We propose something that approaches both amenity and event, using the architectural unit of the chair to address both the human and urban scale. By addressing both scales with one intervention, we are providing both a fine grain of detail and relationship to the body and open space, while also allowing our intervention to volumetrically break with the fragmentation of the existing site, which consists of an odd collection of objects that are out of scale for the person yet not large enough to relate to the surrounding downtown buildings. Green space in Downtown occupies a removed roofline, being largely inaccessible to pedestrians and the public.
Our intervention conceptualizes the green roof line, reinstating a green plane on the ground level of Downtown that is at once a green roof, ceiling, and wall. The unit of the chair is flexible in its use – in one orientation it provides a framework for plants to grow while in another it provides a surface for screenings and then of course it returns to the ground plane to be used as seating. The perceived thickness of our architectural frame is a product of the aggregation of our unit; the unit is structural in both curved and planar form, and in its most prominent reading resembles almost a billboard in the L.A. skyline . We built up our project in a way that connects the residual, anonymous spaces of the metro site, promoting a place to gather and pass time, interfacing with daily routine but also as a space that promotes larger happenings in Downtown, relating to Art Walk or Pershing Square Concerts, etc. This play between abstract sign and pure amenity drove our project to accomplish the range of considerations in between the two, as a flexible installation that at its end could be easily broken down and distributed, or allowed to inhabit Pershing Square across the street, reinforcing connectivity of public space across Downtown.
Gensler, Los Angeles
Kelley Hess / Charlie Young