Thursday, September 27, 2012

Can LA's 'Light & Space' Artists & Las Vegas Fix the Downtown LA Football Stadium & Convention Center Addition?

According to Dakota Smith of the Daily News, that is the consensus of a group of architects the Mayor convened to look into the plans now being debated by the City Council.

Architects call for redesign of L.A. Convention Center hall, part of AEG NFL project
Citing serious concerns, a group of high-profile architects advising Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the downtown football stadium is recommending a redesign of the Los Angeles Convention Center hall that is part of the project.
Several members of the "Vision Team," a group of eight architects assembled by Villaraigosa to consult on the project, believe the plan has major flaws, including having visitors enter the new hall through a dark, unsafe space created by stretching the building over Pico Boulevard.
They believe this will so negatively impact Pico Boulevard and the Pico-Union neighborhood that an overhaul is required.   ((here is the rest of the story)

There is time to successfully address these problems.   Hopefully it can be done  by some rethinking of the footprint of the overall project.  But, if not, there are multiple ways adjustments which can be made to make the area more pedestrian friendly, some of which are addressed in the above article.

Additional uses might also be added to that stretch of Pico to attract  people to the area at times neither the stadium nor the Pico Hall are being used.  And by making those uses  places that would attract people entering and exiting the two big  venues, that could also make it more likely some people would arrive earlier and leave later, easing traffic congestion.

Another possible partial solution is to make the part of Pico covered by the new convention center into something resembling a very LA version of the Fremont Experience in Las Vegas.  One that would be far more subtle - and which would be one continuous non-stop experience - paced so that the slow - and very gradual - changes in the lights would be observable by pedestrians, but not noticeable by the drivers along  Pico so as not to distract them.

One or more of these shows might even be done by one of LA's  'light and space'' artists such as James Turrell. or Robert Irwin.  This could give the area a major new cultural attraction and considerably ... brighten... the experience of walking along Pico.

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