Monday, October 21, 2013

Walk in the Park

"Weather Field No. 1" - sculpture by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle

Santa Monica has a new park! What was once a flat parking lot is now a graceful rambling walkway that takes you from City Hall to the Pier and Palisades Park bluffs.

Designed by the same firm that designed the wonderful High Line park in Manhattan, Tongva Park is crafted as a flowing arroyo, with water features that begin at an almost-formal fountain at the square named for former mayor Ken Genser, in front of City Hall, then organically take you on a journey to the sea.

The plash of fountains temper the loud traffic sounds, and the undulating topography carved by hills and sloping pathways provide sheltered space in the heart of the city.

There's a colorful and fun kids' play area, a grassy meadow for gathering, and secluded picnic tables, beneath mature trees that the city salvaged from street-scape renovations - removing overgrown street-trees from city sidewalks and replanting them here in the park. The large healthy trees add an instant sense of timeless majesty to the new space.

Plantings of California native plants are drought-tolerant and provide a subtle beauty.

Among the park's most striking features are the elevated viewing platforms that rise high over Ocean Avenue, giving a view onto the Pacific Ocean and the Pier, surrounded by rounded, net-like organic forms - nests, perhaps, or cages, or swirling space-ships that enclose and shelter, while they frame the vista.

Click any photo to "embiggen"
Come here to watch, and listen, and enjoy the view. It's a calm interlude in the middle of the city.


Susan B said...

We drove by there Friday night and saw the perimeter. Thanks for the photos, definitely want to go back and explore.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Those elevated platforms look like giant moths came out of them.

smalltownme said...

Stunning, just stunning. Google Maps needs an update because they still show an empty lot.