101 Pedestrian Bridge



Posted: Mar 27th, 2009 / Last Edited: Jun 1st, 2010 Print

Description

  • This new pedestrian passageway bridges the civic fissure created in Los Angeles’ downtown by the construction of the 101 Freeway some fifty years ago by filling it with an iconic civic space. And yet, the design for this icon grew out of a non-site – the very void in the urban fabric carved by the freeway. The parti responds to both the future potential and the deep-rooted history of the area. The straight edge, with its ephemeral media display, symbolically faces new Los Angeles to the South. The curved edge, with its permanent steel text, is a fragment, a reflection of the circular zócalo to the South – the original civic space of the pueblo of Los Angeles. On the North side, the frame supports an electronic display apparatus – a forum for the work of artist Jenny Holzer and a programmable catalogue of events that reflect the expansiveness of Angelino culture. The South side of the frame bears a curved panel of weathered cor-ten steel, incised with the fixed words “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles,” the original name of the city. The semi-transparent, porous structure frames a space that is simultaneously both public and private - a Situationist “living room” in the middle of the city. Within the frame of the bridge, an urban-scaled staircase at mid-Main Street provides access to a restaurant and an observation deck overlooking the freeway. Ascending one story, the pedestrian arrives at an elevated platform, the equivalent of a traditional Piano Noble – the public living room – of a European Palazzo. A landmark for both LA-native and tourist, the bridge orients the pedestrian to the historic Main Street axis. The porous structure lifts over the freeway, so the motorist remains visually connected to the city’s skyline at precisely the point where Downtown’s most vital memories are stitched together.
  • This new pedestrian passageway bridges the civic fissure created in Los Angeles’ downtown by the construction of the 101 Freeway some fifty years ago by filling it with an iconic civic space. And yet, the design for this icon grew out of a non-site – the very void in the urban fabric carved by the freeway. The parti responds to both the future potential and the deep-rooted history of the area. The straight edge, with its ephemeral media display, symbolically faces new Los Angeles to the South. The curved edge, with its permanent steel text, is a fragment, a reflection of the circular zócalo to the South – the original civic space of the pueblo of Los Angeles. On the North side, the frame supports an electronic display apparatus – a forum for the work of artist Jenny Holzer and a programmable catalogue of events that reflect the expansiveness of Angelino culture. The South side of the frame bears a curved panel of weathered cor-ten steel, incised with the fixed words “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles,” the original name of the city. The semi-transparent, porous structure frames a space that is simultaneously both public and private - a Situationist “living room” in the middle of the city. Within the frame of the bridge, an urban-scaled staircase at mid-Main Street provides access to a restaurant and an observation deck overlooking the freeway. Ascending one story, the pedestrian arrives at an elevated platform, the equivalent of a traditional Piano Noble – the public living room – of a European Palazzo. A landmark for both LA-native and tourist, the bridge orients the pedestrian to the historic Main Street axis. The porous structure lifts over the freeway, so the motorist remains visually connected to the city’s skyline at precisely the point where Downtown’s most vital memories are stitched together.
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Details

Location:
Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Client:
Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles
Program:
Downtown pedestrian bridge, with digital/electronic art display, across the 101 Freeway; steel truss frame erected over steel and concrete buttresses
Design:
1998
Type:
  • Governmental

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