The four finalists for the redesign of Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles have been selected. They are the teams of SWA with Morphosis, James Corner with Frederick Fisher & Partners, wHY with Civitas, and Agence TER with SALT. Corner is kind of the superstar in this world, creating both Santa Monica’s Tongva Park, and the High Line in New York. “The world-class firm selected by our jury represent a huge range,” said Eduardo Santana, Executive Director of Pershing Square Renew. “They include global stars and local unknowns. They’ve built towers and landscapes and many creations in between.”
A quick glance at the initial designs show the 5-acre park stripped of its 1992 Ricardo Legorreta design, simplified, with more green and less concrete. The parking garage ramps, which swallow up much of the streetscape on all sides of the park, seem to have receded into the digital dust in these renderings. Maybe there’s an app for finding the new entrance. I like the ideas of the French team – grass, trees, and a water fountain – which is pretty much what was there 125 years ago.
There will be more development of these schemes, more jury interviews, and a public presentation in March when residents will be invited to comment on the proposals. You don’t have to wait – we are looking forward to reading your comments below.