Qualified Condition

October 6, 2008

A Place to Sit Down and Get Arrested

Filed under: Building Plays Well With Others — qualifiedcondition @ 9:39 pm

It’s always really hard to get commercial developers to provide outdoor open space that can be used by the general public.  Usually, if there are tables and chairs or any other place to sit you have to buy a Quizno’s sub to earn the space.  Fortunately, with municipal development having a schnazzy open space is more-or-less a requirement.

I happened to look out the window today and I noticed that the plaza in front of the new police station (currently under construction) is starting to look more like a public space and less like a construction zone–which is pretty exciting.  I haven’t really seen the plans for this project up close, so I have to wonder what shape will the space take: will it take on the 70’s futuretasticaesthetic of the LA Mall (I hope!) or will it be more of a spartan “film your car commercial here” kind of space such as the plaza at CalTrans?  Perhaps the bigger question is whether or not I’ll be able to actually sit over there and read a book on my lunch break with out violating section blah blah blah of the Los Angeles Municipal Code.


I haven’t yet decided what I think of the design of this building, especially in as much as my primary area of interest these days seems to be in the ground floor area (aka the pedestrian realm).  I think that the tower does an okay job of responding to the egg-crate style buildings that pervade the Civic Center in a playful sort of way, though I think we’re all going to be sick of the random grid effect that has been on every new tower since 2005.  I don’t know if the triangle-meets-a-square motif is intentionally feng shui (maybe the LAPD is secretly a bunch of vegan yoga hippies) nor am I sure what exactly the big ol’ triangle is pointing at (had they juxtaposed the plan it would be pointing at the jail which is pretty darn funny), but I do like the proportion and the fact that it leaves a little breathing room for the death star.  I mean CalTrans.  It looks like the ground floor on Main Street is going to be the butt of the building (same as with CalTrans), which is a shame because that’s my coffee route, but for now the street corner at 2nd and Main is opened back up, so I don’t care what they do so long as I can get an Americano 45 seconds faster.



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