Presenting Gehry and Grand Ave
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — This morning's LA Times contained a big spread unveiling the preliminary designs for phase one of Grand Avenue. If you start with this story you can get several of the diagrams and a related article in the sidebar.
At 11:30 this morning the press conference for the design was held, and all the big names were present, including Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilwoman Jan Perry, Supervisor Gloria Molina, bigshots from Related and of course Frank Gehry.
The design has the potential to be fascinating -- at least from the Grand Avenue side. I love the way the plaza comes in flat between the two big buildings, with little retail popping up in between.
What will be very telling, though, is how Related chooses to treat the corner of the project at 2nd and Olive. Tom Gilmore set up shop on that corner of the model telling anyone who would listen that he loves the project design, except for that one corner. His concern, and mine as well, is that this corner needs to guide people up into the plaza instead of leaving them to make their way around the block. The design is still early, though, so there's certainly time for improvement.
One thing I thought was especially cool in the model was the colored glass structure on the corner of 1st and Grand. It rotated colors every couple seconds, and looked really smooth in doing it. How did they pull it off? They had a laptop (a PC one, I might point out) under the table playing an iPod commercial on loop. The bright colors from the commercial were the colors in the building, as a projector underneath beamed the image into a glass ball inside the model.
Very cool implementation. I would imagine the real thing would be more intricate, however.