Encompassing Aiso – Los Angeles Public Art
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As the day turns to dusk and then to night the public art project Encompassing Aiso, comes more into view. Unlike most public art projects which stand above ground, Encompassing Aiso is part of the ground. The Aiso Plaza layout was designed by architect 0.10 (zero-ten). Well versed in problem — Continue reading …
As the day turns to dusk and then to night the public art project Encompassing Aiso, comes more into view. Unlike most public art projects which stand above ground, Encompassing Aiso is part of the ground. The Aiso Plaza layout was designed by architect 0.10 (zero-ten). Well versed in problem solving with a thoughtful modern aesthetic, architects Melynda Eccles, Carl Smith and Mathew Chaney , of Telemachus Studio in collaboration with Los Angeles artist John O’Brien, set out to acknowledge the original design intent incorporating the art into the existing concrete floor and wall designs.
The Aiso Street Plaza lies close to the center of the dramatic cross currents of downtown Los Angeles. With Little Tokyo as a cornerstone, the site is steeped in history and movement. From this intersection of First and Aiso, echoes of Olvera Street, China Town, Union Station, the Museums and Monuments linger in the memory. Aiso Plaza attempts to manifest these influences as an observatory mapping urban constellations.
“Through the concept of Encompassing Aiso, we chose to inscribe Aiso Plaza with an overarching mapping system, capable of locating it within the context of histories and cultures that define the place.” This mapping system manifests in two interrelated elements: Pathways and Portals. The Pathways are envisioned as physical traces, broad elliptical stainless steel arcs set flush with the plaza concrete, which would mark trajectories from the plaza to other significant and nearby destinations. The portals make reference to selected sites where there are potential walking paths from Aiso Plaza. “Ultimately, this project is about looking at the city as more than a collection of isloated events, it reaches out to directly connect to it’s surroundings”, says Carl Smith of Telemachus Studio.
The portals themselves are made from steel, glass and lighting effects which give the laser cut silhouetted shapes of Los Angeles iconic landmarks more intense contrast as the night sky falls. The lighting that punctuates the walls of Aiso Plaza are also part of the art project as they mark the spot of intersection of mapping on the ground.
John O’Brien observes, “public art that is integrated into the architectural site like Encompassing Aiso is downtown, allows for a more subtle appearance and a richer contextualization for the viewer. Like L.A., the artwork is a little hard to see right away but once the patterns are understood, it makes for a more fascinating place.” I agree.
Have an infinitely modern day!