place: Metlox Public Plazas
Manhattan Beach CA
2008 AIA Award in Urban Design and Planning
The project is located on the former site of the Metlox Pottery factory, now a city block bounded within the busy downtown and the civic center.
It consists of a series of interventions that activate and conceptually link the public spaces. The work draws upon the symbolism of fire and water, primary elements in the ceramics industry, and a connection to the site’s industrial past.
In the heart of the project, the plaza known as the “town square”, the horizontal concrete planes and cooling pools of the main fountain stand in tension with the fiery kiln, located across the courtyard. Light and heat from the kiln glows through the openings in the large free standing object and become a source of warmth in winter.
The escalator core is draped with panels of metal scrim in luminous colors of fire. The illuminated screen descends into the subterranean parking levels and becomes a marker of entry.