In a city known for its sprawl, things are about to get a lot greener. The City of West Hollywood recently unveiled the three finalists for the West Hollywood Park Project, including entries from LPA (with Rios Clementi Hale), Frederick Fisher and Partners (with CMG) and Langdon Wilson.
The park will cover over 5 acres of (soon to be) green space in the middle of Los Angeles, although at a slight cost. A number of existing buildings will be demolished to make way for the park, including a library, office park, and swimming pool complex. New structures will likely include a recreation and community centre, as well as various playground facilities scattered around the park.
Thus far, the proposals have focused largely on the relationship between the community centre and the rest of the park, in an effort to make the park a node of recreation and relaxation. Though the plans are still considered to be conceptual, Jeffrey Huffer, the Strategic Initaitves Manager for the City of West Hollywood noted that, "In all I would expect to see the style and type of buildings would remain very similar to what they’ve presented."
The firms' varied proposals will make choosing one quite a challenge. FFP breaks up the community centre to integrate it almost entirely with the landscape, and includes features such as a grass-topped roof, a reading garden, and meandering outdoor pathways.
A grand stair links a rooftop pool to the park in the proposal by LPA, which also features and indoor climbing wall and tennis courts. Green space is allocated by scale, offering a large 'public park' distinguished by harder lines and more permanent programmed spaces. The 'neighbourhood park' is less planned, and offers more flexible spaces for families and visitors to relax.
Langdon Wilson's proposal does not, on the other hand, integrate the facility with the park, with project architect Rick Sholl citing that "it’s about the park at the end of the day." The proposal focuses rather on creating a compact community centre that complements the surrounding park (envisioned to be an 'outdoor living room.')
The winning scheme is expected to be announced at the next city council meeting on January 21st, 2014 and completion of the project is tentatively scheduled for 2017. Explained Huffer to Architect's Newspaper on the proposals,"I think it’s only excited people more about what the project could look like."