Drawing on the inherent sectional nature of the site, the formal and programmatic starting point for the project superimposes two kinds of public space – park and plaza. These are then cleaved by two intersecting pedestrian paths that both separate and connect. They separate by dividing the park and plaza into distinct diagonal quadrants. They connect- by bringing the two sides of the city together by dramatically framing view of the surrounding urban fabric, at both street level and the elevated positions at the peak of each of the park quadrants. From these elevated points, equal and opposite to the flow of traffic on I-405, one is able to also see the larger scale of the city and its relation to the highway.
The superimposition of program is facilitated by sloping each quadrant of the park up from the sidewalks. This in turn creates the space for the plaza underneath (at street level). The plaza is comprised of a central informal outdoor gathering space and four commercial lease spaces ranging in size from 1500sf to 1800sf. The outdoor space is populated by a casual array of circular benches of varying sizes. Some of the benches also serve as planters while others frame large skylights that provide dramatic views to the flow of traffic below. The park quadrants are defined by a geometric patchwork of different grasses and terraces. The glazed curtain wall from the plaza below continues upward to provide guardrails for the elevated conditions, and a crystalline definition to the quadrants.
The structural concept for the proposal reinforces the idea of intersection. The primary bridging structure is envisioned as a web of large intersecting concrete transfer beams. They in turn provide the structural flexibility to support a lighter steel structure above for the park and plaza. Some of the spaces formed between the intersecting beams provide opportunities for large circular walk-on skylights in the central plaza reinforcing the vertical connection between all the levels of the site including the sky above.
PROFESSIONAL DESIGN COMPETITION
ARCHITECTURE BUILDING CULTURE
BRIAN CAVANAUGH, AIA AIBC NCARB
JOHN MATERNOSKI, ASSOC. AIA
MARK RITCHIE, AIBC, MRAIC, ANZIA