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Pacific square

An architectural and cartographic project based on the map of Los Angeles

25 November 2020
Year :
Location :
Pershing Square, Los Angeles

In 1985, the City of Los Angeles launched a competition to redesign  Pershing Square in Downtown. With architect Ingrid Hustvedt we invented a cartographical proposal based on the map of the city.

Our design for Pershing Square is to create a great landmark with a vibrant green and water-ocean garden. We used the historical division of the 1918 square geometry of the park to create a hybrid version of the Eiffel Tower to the image of the Los Angeles grid-based infinite city. It’s street and block pattern constituting the base for the design of the Pacific stair to the infinite.

The classical square division in diagonal provides many social spaces for everyday activities from relaxing to walking to playing, to water playing in the summer and ice skating in the winter to organizing events, festivals, and performances. An open theater agora is designed above the underground parking entrance. On the ground level of the structure, cafés and restaurants are designed with as many upper levels extensions possible.

The Pacific Tower is an open structure to receive all kinds of activities, café, bars, shops, sitting areas, and top floor panorama. It also provides a unique stair to the infinite, a metaphor for the Pacific Palisades of Los Angeles urban map.

The diagonal divides the site into two different areas.  One is intense greenery for shades and relaxation, an oasis of luxurious trees, and a palm grove. The other side of the tower is conceived as a triangular water pond crossed by circular wooden logs perpetuating the tower structure into the water to allow its crossing by people.  The Pacific garden-tower-pond aims to create a landmark in Downtown Los Angeles capturing its geographical and historical significance as well as inventing a new contemporary landmark for LA through its map.

The project did not win. The 1987 built project was destroyed in 2016 to see a new project design that hopefully uses historical references to its design.


Ingrid Hustvedt, architect
Françoise Schein


Los Angeles city