The Music Center Plaza Renovation

The Music Center Plaza Renovation extends RIOS’ work shaping Los Angeles’ Civic Center along with Grand Park and the realignment of Grand Avenue. The new plaza serves to connect the local community with one primary goal — accessibility. This theme pervades the design from creating more welcoming outdoor urban spaces to establishing a greater ease of entry to leveling the formerly uneven surface. In creating a “plaza for all” to enjoy, the design turns the site into a “fifth venue” at The Music Center complementing the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theater, and Walt Disney Concert Hall with public gathering space, dining options, and a welcome center.

The plaza’s most significant design intervention was raising the sunken center to the same level as the surrounding area. The single universally accessible level makes it easier to hold larger gatherings, festivals, and simulcasts. The accessibility theme extends to the support of free and low-cost community events programmed to activate the plaza throughout the year.

The design also reconfigures the stairs to Grand Avenue with escalators to transform this entrance into the Music Center’s new front door. The Music Center is located at the heart of the civic center along the Grand Avenue “cultural corridor.” As such, the Plaza is part of a greater plan to provide an enhanced pedestrian environment to connect significant institutions and create a more welcoming environment for visitors to the Music Center.


Other designers involved in the design of landscape (architects and landscape architects): Rios – Landscape and Architects of record; XXX

Project location: Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

Design year: 2016

Year Built: 2019

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