TERREMOTO: A vacant lot. An underpass in Culver City. A city amidst a city of cities. Nowhere, but also the center of the universe.

The train rumbles past above us beating along like a stop-motion glacial retreat, in steady quarter notes of light and shadow, thumps and clicks. The muscular concrete columns that support the track merge gracefully into the dust of the ground plane. At the edge of the lot, our clients have created a thriving post-mall, singling out this little edge of the public thoroughfare for a flourishing retail corridor, even as the global retail sector rings its death knell. More quarter notes. Everywhere around us the inextinguishable and insatiable machinery of the Southland economy: The pulverized earth of Culver City construction, construction, construction, construction, construction.

Beneath and among these grinding anti-historical swells of culture and commerce, these storms of transit and transience, Terremoto is asked to design an eye for a hurricane, a tube for a wave, a dale or hollow: a simple park for the unsorted exercises of being together, of a populace in respite. Culver City needs a culvert: that covered passageway for our flowing swiftly together.  Put the problem another way: how can we be together, outside, amidst a world defined by its fugazi of “sharing”: an image-saturated, self-contradictory, grotesque reality of a post-Internet moment that blinks and blares and does not see or hear? How, now, can we be together, outside?

Terremoto says yes to less (and more).
Less programmatic civic space, more vagaries of the botanical plateau.
Less directing your movements through the space, more plantscapes for exploring it on your own.
More ranginess and long idles in the piazza, more intangible delicacy of languor in the zócalo, more soft revelries of being human together in the infinite shadow plays of the public way. Our park has no goals but it has this little platform.

Role of the office in the project: Landscape Architect: TERREMOTO

Photos by Stephen Schauer.

Project Team was as follows:
Terremoto Team: Diego Lopez (Lead) + David Godshall + Rachel Tucker
Planting Design: Jonathon Froines
Park Construction: Johnston Vidal Projects
Mural: Block Shop Textiles
Timber Supplier: Angel City Lumber

Project location: 8850 Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA
Design year: 2019
Year Built: 2019

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