The City of Los Angeles has selected landscape architects Mia Lehrer + Associates (MLA) with partners OMA and IDEO to design a new public park at First and Broadway in downtown LA. Located across from Los Angeles City Hall, the new development, to be known as “FAB Park,” will connect into the existing Grand Park, turning the area into one of the city’s most important civic spaces.
The design of FAB Park was conceived as a celebration of Los Angeles’ diversity through the themes of food, art and land. A split-level restaurant designed by OMA opens up to the park via a sweeping staircase, and will serve as a new lunch spot for employees of nearby government buildings and locals alike. To provide respite from the hot California sun, the park will feature native oak and sycamore trees alongside an array of OMA-designed sculptural shade canopies. Beneath the canopies, shaded outdoor rooms will give park-goers a space for small group gatherings, food fairs, art installations, and other community events.
“FAB park will be a meeting point for civil servants, journalists, arts patrons and DTLA residents. Our design for the restaurant is a dynamic building that facilitates two distinct levels of service: quick and casual on the ground, refined and elegant above. Each level activates diverse experiences ranging from café to test kitchen to amphitheater seating”, says OMA partner Jason Long.
Adding to the park design will be user-experience elements by innovation firm IDEO and a curation of art by Marc Pally. The design team also employed holistic sustainability and native planting strategies to strive for a “net-zero” energy rating and to handle all onsite stormwater capture, treatment and infiltration.
The 1.96 acre site was purchased by the City Parks and Recreation Department as a part of the city’s “50 Parks Initiative” and is the second Downtown LA park to announce design plans in the past month, following the highly-publicized Pershing Square competition won by French firm Agence Ter. FAB Park is slated to open to the public in 2019.