Microsoft Square Plaza
Los Angeles, California
For the vast entertainment, retail, and residential complex known as L.A. Live to succeed as a center for the surrounding community, it needed a flexible event space that could serve as a contemporary town square. With Rios Clementi Hale Studios we delivered a plaza that can host occasions of any size, from everyday use by local residents to globally televised media events.
The one-acre plaza has already woven itself into the fabric of downtown L.A., turning a formerly car-centric area into a mixed-use urban center. It's where people congregate before performances at Microsoft Theatre, and where they celebrate after a game at Staples Center. It's the dynamic linchpin among a host of venues that includes the Grammy Museum, the J.W. Marriott hotel, and the Ritz-Carlton hotel and residences.
Infrastructure is placemaking, through a set of six custom-designed 75-foot steel towers that lend the plaza their presence, even when no events are scheduled. They artfully conceal audio-visual cabling, while their sturdy steel crossbars support lighting, sound equipment, banners, and LED screens. These systems support a multitude of events, from rock concerts to festivals to simulcasts of presidential inaugurations.
A unique granite paving pattern softens the 40,000 square feet of hardscape and creates an iconic look that's instantly recognizable from overhead blimp shots. Planters of poppies and drought-tolerant Westringia, and Platanus occidentalis shade trees introduce restful, elements to this highly urban site.