Little Armenia Gateway Competition
Los Angeles, CA
Designed in collaboration with Heather Roberge of LA-based practice, murmur. The proposal for the Little Armenia Gateway is both fragmented and coherent, like the city in which we live. It thrives on this duality and embraces it as a way of negotiating multiple (personal) identities. In doing so, it aspires to formalize the notion of belonging to and being rooted in a multi-faceted cultural city. It does so by producing an art piece which at its essence demands to be viewed, experienced, and understood from multiple vantage points.
The site is viewed from adjacent roadways by people in motion or at rest for short periods. The work is legible from these vantage points as well as from the pedestrians’ view. Our work stretches out to capture two major vantage points: eastbound vehicular traffic on Hollywood Blvd. and northbound traffic at the adjacent 101 off-ramp. The wall is folded, directing its message to these vantage points, and becoming a volume when viewed from Hollywood Blvd. and Van Ness. Lastly, its length conceals the adjacent concrete block wall to produce its own visual environment. It combines two languages to speak to the Armenian community directly and other passersby. We use lenticular effects that are legible from particular lines of sight but break apart from others to reflect this fragmented coherence. From two primary vantage points, the large text reads in two languages, Armenian and English, simultaneously. Like these two co-mingled languages, Little Armenia is Los Angeles, and Los Angeles is Little Armenia.