Rios Clementi Hale Studios Creates Innovative Public Spaces Sensitive To Urban Use Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 March 2008 02:01

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Rios Clementi Hale Studios is a Los Angeles-based architecture, landscape, and urban design firm. Recently, it won two honors from the American Society of Landscape Architects, Southern California chapter, at the 2007 Quality for Life Design Awards. 

The firm garnered the Institutional Design Honor Award for “The California Endowment Campus Landscape,” and the Communications Design Honor Award for its creation of the “Civic Park Workshop Toolkits.”

  


RCHS_CalEndow_Bonner_14.jpg The California Endowment is located on a 6.5-acre campus at the junction of Chinatown, Little Tokyo, and El Pueblo de Los Angeles.  Designed to express community, health, partnership, diversity, and transparency, the campus creates strong connections to the vibrant cultural enclaves that surround the site, captures the healthy indoor-outdoor California lifestyle, and weaves together flora and stonework that are iconic to regions across the state.  The idyllic, contemporary courtyard was influenced by the state’s rustic way of life, historic Mission courtyards, and Japanese gardens from nearby Little Tokyo.  Light and airy, the courtyard features bands of colored concrete that extend into the interior spaces, creating a continuity between the indoors and outdoors.
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Before working on the schematic design of downtown’s Civic Park, Rios Clementi Hale Studios created the Civic Park Workshop Toolkits to encourage input from residents, stakeholders, and interested members of the public during an open workshop. 

The major design issues—renovation, placemaking, programming, and movement—were addressed, based on research of existing park examples and the initial design criteria for Civic Park, part of the wide-reaching “Reimagining Grand Avenue” plan.  Similar to a chessboard, the “toolkits” consist of moveable pieces—reflecting elements such as parking ramps, fountains, art exhibits, and seasonal events—that participants arranged to represent the park layout. 

Not only did the toolkits refine community concerns for the designers, but they fostered dialogue between people who hadn’t previously met, bringing forth ideas about the planning and design of the park.

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Rios Clementi Hale Studios encompasses myriad talents in one firm.  Established in 1985, this extraordinary practice has developed an international reputation for its collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach, establishing an award-winning tradition across an unprecedented range of design disciplines.  Acknowledging the firm’s varied body of work, the American Institute of Architects California Council gave Rios Clementi Hale Studios its 2007 Firm Award, the organization’s highest honor.  The architecture, landscape architecture, planning, urban, interior, exhibit, graphic, and product designers at Rios Clementi Hale Studios create buildings, places, and products that are thoughtful, effective, and beautiful.

 


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