Mahara Place in Waikanae isn’t the only public area which needs a makeover: Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles also needs it; an L.A. Times article below. We particularly note the need to reintroduce grassy areas, which was what we said Mahara Place needs in our submission to the KCDC on last year’s annual plan.
“A team led by Agence Ter, a French landscape architecture firm that is prolific in Europe but barely known in this country, was named the winner Thursday in competition organized by Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar and a nonprofit group called Pershing Square Renew.
“The winning design focuses on opening the park directly to the sidewalks around it, replacing concrete with grass and providing extensive new pockets of shade. It is very much a reaction to, if not an outright apology for, the visual clutter of present-day Pershing Square, which remains a conspicuous dead space in an otherwise revived and money-soaked downtown.
“One of L.A.’s oldest public spaces, Pershing Square suffered the indignity of having its trees and grass torn out so that a parking garage could be sunk beneath it in 1951. In 1994, after an earlier design competition fizzled, Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta and landscape architect Laurie Olin were hired to redesign the square again; along with bright color and a good deal of hardscape, they added walls and towers to the existing parking ramps along the perimeter, redoubling the sense that the park was cut off from the life of the surrounding city.
“The Agence Ter proposal, which beat out entries from three finalists, aims to solve those problems by relying on what Henri Bava, one of the firm’s founders, describes as a “radical flatness.”