MLA and OMA to Design New Park in Downtown L.A.
The City of Los Angeles has selected a team of architects led by OMA and local firm Mia Lehrer + Associates (MLA) to design a new public park downtown. The park, which is slated to open in 2019, will be named “FAB Park” after its location on the intersection of First and Broadway.
According to a statement from OMA, the park design will “incorporate themes of food, art, and land,” promising a canopy of oak and sycamore trees as well as a two-level restaurant with casual service on the first level and more upscale dining on the second. "Each level activates diverse experiences ranging from café to test kitchen to amphitheater seating," said OMA partner Jason Long. The elements of the park will be organized around a central plaza (or “gallery”) for markets and community events.
The firm says that the park was designed with “a holistic strategy for sustainability”: a palette of California-native plants will require less watering and maintenance, while the restaurant will provide a “self-generating economic resource” for park operations. The park’s future location, currently a vacant lot, sits at the heart of the city’s downtown area, within a block of city hall, the municipal and federal courthouses, the Kodak Theatre, and the L.A. Times building. The lot was purchased by the city from the state of California in 2013 as part of an attempt to address the significant lack of public parks in Los Angeles.
The design was chosen out of a group of finalists announced by the city in November of last year. MLA and OMA will be joined in the project by design and innovation firm IDEO and artist Marc Pally, along with a number of other designers.