Prof. Kelly Shannon brings new life to Pershing Square

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Prof. Kelly Shannon brings new life to Pershing Square

June 20, 2016

Wins Pershing Square Renew Competition with Team Led by French Landscape Firm Agence Ter and LA-based Salt Landscape Architects


The nonprofit group Pershing Square Renew has announced that a team under the umbrella of French landscape architecture firm Agence Ter and LA firm SALT, has been awarded first place in a competition to completely revamp the troubled park in the center of downtown LA.


Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne has called the winning proposal “elegantly simple,” and an outright apology for what he calls “the visual clutter of present-day Pershing Square, which remains a conspicuous dead space in an otherwise revived and money-soaked downtown.”


The proposal, which the team describes as “radical flatness” introduces new swaths of grass and shaded areas, including a sweeping, block-long sun PV-outfitted sun shade that runs the length of park along the Hill Street side. The Agence Ter team — including Kelly Shannon, director of the Master of Landscape Architecture + Urbanism Program — beat out three finalists with their strategy for re-greening and re-integrating one of LA’s oldest parks, bringing it back into the public realm and closer to how it used to be before all the trees were ripped out the replaced with concrete.


“There is a directness to the team’s proposal — even a minimalism — that clearly appealed to the nine-member competition jury,” writes Hawthorne.


The jury included Michael Woo, dean of architecture at Cal Poly and former city council member, Janet Marie Smith, a Dodgers executive and architect by training, and Janet Rosenberg, a landscape architect from Toronto.


If all goes well with a combination of public and private funding for the facelift, we should see a new park sometime in 2019.