Exposed and Always Under Construction Formerly the Santa Monica Museum of Art, wHY collaborated with…
A Bench, a Room, a Bridge
When the international conceptual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija was commissioned to create a piece for the first Los Angeles Public Art Biennial, wHY’s 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.
In this project, Tiravanija employs architecture to create a juncture between people and place, creating situations that bring us closer to the river. 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.