wHY’s Ideas Workshop is examining the intersection of physical, social, and regulatory space to alleviate…
A Bench, a Room, a Bridge
An intimate, timber-frame structure houses weekly events centered on public interaction with the LA River, its users, and the surrounding urban fabric. In this project, Tiravanija employs architecture to create a juncture between people and place, creating situations that bring us closer to the river.
When the international conceptual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija was commissioned to create a piece for the first Los Angeles Public Art Biennial, our Objects Workshop worked closely with his studio and the City’s Cultural Affairs Department to realize the artists’ vision for a place of meditation and rest as well as a series of programs ranging from watercolor classes to Chado tea ceremonies. Using available panel sizes and common construction-grade materials to keep costs on budget, we were able to work closely with the engineer and contractor to deliver the project on a tight deadline.
The gesture of the structure recalls the act of walking; the two ‘feet’ of the deck step across a spillway for recycled water. Large stones walk to the pavilion, encouraging visitors to linger. A unified roof with upturned beams creates a simple ceiling plan as well as a clean space to meditate, talk, or fish. A hidden helical pile foundation minimizes the impact of the temporary structure on the park.
Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy of City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA)
Artwork commissioned by DCA for CURRENT:LA Water © [Rirkrit Tiravanija 2016]