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Arts and Entertainment

Photos: These Design Finalists Show The Pershing Square Of The Future

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Plans for the long-awaited redesign of downtown L.A.'s Pershing Square have been unveiled from the four final teams competing for the future design of the historic park.

Last December, ten competing design teams were narrowed to four, and now the final designs from those selected teams have been released by Pershing Square Renew, the nonprofit that is overseeing the redesign of the five-acre park. From expansive lawns with sustainable gardens and trees to shade canopies and event spaces, the designs offer welcome departures from the current concrete-heavy layout, which many consider to be an urban planning nightmare.

Below, you'll find descriptions of the four concepts from the four finalists, Agence Ter and Team, James Corner Field Operations, SWA/Morphosis, and wHy + Civitas. The finalists will present their proposals tonight at the Palace Theater, and the winning team is expected to be chosen by a design jury in May.

SWA with Morphosis

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These two downtown L.A. firms have aimed to create a sustainable design that remains "active throughout the day and evening, anchored by dining, concessions, and green-tech educational facilities," according to a release accompanying their renderings. Plans also include lots of trees and a vast lawn that will be "maintained by a sustainable wetland water feature," as well as a floral garden and a playscape for children. And instead of the essentially useless 10-story purple bell tower that currently exists in the park, the renderings include a solar-powered hydroponic urban farming tower, which sounds pretty useful.

Agence Ter and Team

Hailing from Paris, the Agence Ter and Team design features a large "smart canopy" offering shade along the length of Hill Street, as well as extensive tree plantings throughout the park. There would also be multiple gardens, including the Sun Garden, Wind Garden, Edible Garden and Moonlight Garden, and an event space that could be used for film screenings (as pictured) and more.

James Corner Field Operations with Frederick Fisher & Partners

James Corner has designed locally with Tongva Park in Santa Monica, as well as the High Line Park in Manhattan. According to a release, their Pershing Square design aims to "re-create the green garden oasis that characterized the original square, providing generous social spaces for everyday strolling, relaxation and play, as well as for special events, markets, festivals, arts and performance." The renderings include several distinct areas for recreation, including a hammock grove, a picnic area, a dog run and even a yoga field. Plans also include space for cafes, as well as a "ping pong room," which sounds exciting.

wHY with Civitas

Culver City's wHY partnered with Denver's Civitas Landscape Architecture to create a design that features several cool, swooping platforms and distinct green spaces with great names like The Scramble, Green Spot, Tree Allee and Vanishing Point. There's even a nod to the 5 freeway and California's vineyards with the Grapevine, a vine-covered shade structure. Plans also include eco-friendly features like "alternative and sustainable water filtration and conservation systems."

You can learn more about the designs and see further renderings here.