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West Coast Gateway International Competition : Los Angeles : 1989

A National Monument to Immigration and the City of Los Angeles.

Concept : The project was conceived as a narrative expression of welcome to all immigrants and a celebration of the rich and varied cultures of the City of Los Angeles.

'Everyman' is symbolized by the main structure as the mask of humankind. Celebrating the spirit of immigration and migration with 'Welcoming Hands'.

The 'Gateway Bridge' links the diverse cultures of the globe to the culture and spirit of Los Angeles.

Programmatic requirements in the competition brief called for a public 'Ceremonial Platform'; a theatrical area for the 'Festival of Nations Amphitheater'; exhibition spaces to explore immigration history in a 'Family Tree Hall'. Additionally, the proposed monument embraces geography, science. and nature on the 'Global Village' plaza.

Site and Access : As the major link in a chain of urban neighborhoods called 'Gateways', the proposed monument is situated above the US101 freeway in downtown Los Angeles. The scale, mass, and siting of the proposed monument is intended to complete the urban plaza bounded by the U.S. Courthouse, City Hall, and the Federal Building. Extending east/west along the freeway axis, the main plaza structures bridge the surrounding cross streets, providing a distributed network of access from the street level and surrounding neighborhoods.

Structure and Materials : The main plaza was designed as a series of reinforced concrete platforms linked to a central spine cantilevered from the median of the freeway. Tensile connections tie back the extreme points of each plaza to the central spine. The 'Mask' base structure is prefabricated from reinforced concrete conic sections with radiating ribs supporting the main platform level. The upper structures of the 'Mask' and 'Hand' are prefabricated in lightweight steel truss framing. A skin of titanium panels forms the 'Mask' surface.

Competition drawings from this project have been extensively published and exhibited in both the USA and Japan, including in the 2012 volume of
360º Architecture.

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