Working alongside landscape architects Mia Lehrer + Associates and design firm IDEO, OMA has put forward a sculpted proposal that features a partially covered green roof, curved steps, and elevated solar panelling. The project was submitted as part of a competition to design the First and Broadway (FAB) Civic Center Park in Los Angeles and will include a café, beer garden, test kitchen, and amphitheater seating.
OMA hopes to introduce a “new type of park space” that is a versatile habitat for art and socializing. In doing so, space to eat, relax and escape the hectic downtown L.A. life results in a sculpted design that reflects and shades the selected areas.
Mature oak and sycamore trees have been planted in and around the vicinity to harbor the tranquil environment. Almost mimicking this, elevated parabolic solar panelling are dotted around in a similar fashion, forming a cluster, orientated to achieve optimum efficiency. On the underside, they reflect the greenery below and thus maintain the sense of being a natural environment.
The gentle curve that these panels produce (as seen in the first image) are emulated throughout the design. This can be seen in the “edible” green roof where sculpted forms break away and juxtapose the rigid orthogonal form of the building’s structure. Likewise, another prominent example exists in the steps that offer an inviting recluse and alternative space to sit.
While the building prides itself on being a getaway, a dialogue with the surrounding streetscape is maintained. “The corner of First and Broadway provides a new connection—visually and physically—from the cultural corridor of 1st Street to the front steps of City Hall,” the firm says. “The extensive system of low seat walls will create an undulating ribbon of informal seating and shaded areas which define a series of ‘park rooms’ for intimate gatherings or spaces for art and cultural programming, while larger capacity amphitheater seating integrated into the restaurant is available for watching performances in the main plaza.”
OMA has also installed a hierarchy to the structure, divided by its corresponding story. Two distinct environments can be found with “quick and casual” spaces on the ground floor and “refined and elegant” above. As a result, each level responds to the “district’s surrounding civic and cultural landmarks.”
Energy efficiency, as mentioned before is also on OMA’s agenda. The proposal offers “net-zero” efficiency with regard to water and energy use thanks to the solar panels and water conservation facilities which are part of the “Golden California” landscape.
Three other firms—AECOM, Brooks + Scarpa, and Eric Owen Moss—submitted proposals, as well.