Huizar, who led efforts to earmark more than $25 million in City development frees to pay for majority of park’s acquisition and construction, teams with partners Recreation and Parks and Bureau of Engineering Thursday to reveal winning design team for First and Broadway Park
Councilmember Huizar and City officials from Recreation and Parks and Bureau of Engineering announced Thursday that the team led byMia Lehrer + Associates (MLA) will design a new $28 million public park at First and Broadway, which will soon be one of the most important civic spaces in the City’s vibrant downtown core. The park is part of Councilmember Huizar’s DTLA Forward and Recreation and Parks' 50 Parks initiatives, both aiming at increasing green and public space. It is expected to open in 2019.
Led by Los Angeles based landscape architects MLA, the design team includes world-renowned architecture firm OMA as the design architect, and acclaimed California based design think-tank IDEO.
“Mia Lehrer has an exemplary record of public-space design and has assembled an exceptional team to work toward a final design for First and Broadway Park that will serve the City’s and the public’s need in Downtown Los Angeles for years to come,” said Councilmember Huizar. “Working with Recreation and Parks, I made a commitment in 2013 to help acquire this property, fund its construction and bring a new park to Downtown Los Angeles and MLA’s selection brings us one step closer to making that a reality.”
The construction project management for the City’s Recreation and Parks newest space across from City Hall and adjacent to Grand Park, will be performed by the City’s Bureau of Engineering. The Request For Proposal put out by the City asked entries to incorporate a number of different features, such as stormwater management, space for public art and a restaurant.
Community input will continue be a large factor in determining specifics of the final design. The City and public were particularly impressed with MLA’s focus on a large tree canopy providing shade, as well as green space – which provides a great foundation for the work in the days and months ahead, when a final design will be presented.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to design this destination park, providing Los Angeles with a new place to experience nature and culture,” said Mia Lehrer, president of MLA. “We also want to thank Councilman José Huizar for his leadership and vision in bringing a new park to Downtown LA and the City’s Bureau of Engineering for leading a thoughtful process for design.”
Funding for the $28 million park is nearly complete with the recent addition of $7.8 million in CD14 Quimby community benefit fees earmarked by Huizar and Recreation and Parks in May. Since 2013, Councilmember Huizar has secured a total of $25.55 million in Quimby funds for acquisition, site preparation, design and construction.
City of Los Angeles’ Quimby funds come from development fees collected to be used for park improvements or construction within a 1 or 2 mile radius of that development.
The site was once home to a state building damaged in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, as well as an underground parking facility. The building was razed and left abandoned for decades. The City purchased it in 2013.
“The Department of Recreation and Parks is excited to move forward with plans to transform First and Broadway Park,” said Michael A. Shull, General Manager, Department of Recreation and Parks. “What was once a state structure damaged in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake will soon become an iconic Los Angeles landmark featuring a park that will increase green space and bring new recreational opportunities to the Downtown Los Angeles community.”
The MLA | OMA | IDEO design team’s concept for the proposed First and Broadway Park incorporates themes of food, art and land to celebrate the exceptional diversity of Los Angeles. The team’s initial design features a split level restaurant among a lushly planted grove of mature trees.
“The design competition process that led to the selection of Mia Lehrer + Associates for this important park project provided the City with excellent options,” said Deborah Weintraub, Chief Deputy City Engineer. “From the four teams, the design sensitivities and proposed public uses reflected in the Lehrer + Associates entry promise a uniquely Los Angeles open space in our City's center. I look forward to the collaboration we are initiating today that will make this space a reality.”
Designed as the park’s frame, a lush layering of native oak and sycamore trees offers green space and much-needed shade.
Maximizing the park’s potential as a destination and promoting activities throughout the area, program elements will link user’s experiences and awareness of on and off-site events through interface design by IDEO and curation of art by Marc Pally.
The park’s design concept is founded as a holistic strategy for sustainability with the potential to achieve “net-zero” energy and handle all on-site stormwater capture, treatment and infiltration. Park program components, including the restaurant, are envisioned to provide a self-generating economic resource for the park operations.
The City chose four finalists (AECOM Landscape Architecture; Brooks + Scarpa Architects; Eric Owen Moss Architects; and Mia Lehrer + Associates, Landscape Architects)who each set about creating a theoretical design that met the intent of the original RFP with the complete understanding that any preliminary concept still has to undergo ample community input. Each finalist built a model of their conceptual idea. Two community meetings were held to get feedback from the public on each design. A survey was also created where respondents commented on features they thought were most important and what they liked or didn’t like about each option.