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Nokia Plaza at LA Live
Los Angeles, CA


Mark Rios
Frank Clementi
Bob Hale
Jon Black
Sebastian Salvadó
Tony Paradowski
Mike Cheng
Garth Dahlgren
Jennifer Reynolds
Randy Walker
Ichiro Kakami


For the vast entertainment, retail, and residential complex known as L.A. Live to succeed as a center for the surrounding community, it needed a flexible event space that could serve as a contemporary town square. We delivered a plaza that can host occasions of any size, from everyday use by local residents to globally televised media events.

The one-acre plaza has already woven itself into the fabric of downtown L.A., turning a formerly car-centric area into a mixed-use urban center. It's where people congregate before performances at Nokia Theatre, and where they celebrate after a game at Staples Center. It's the dynamic linchpin among a host of venues that includes the Grammy Museum, the J.W. Marriott hotel, and the Ritz-Carlton hotel and residences.
The key to this keystone is a set of six custom-designed 75-foot steel towers that lend the plaza a vivacious presence, even when no events are scheduled. The towers' slender, figured legs are as graceful as a dancer's, appearing to take flight even though they're standing still. They artfully conceal audio-visual cabling, while their sturdy steel crossbars support lighting, sound equipment, banners, and LED screens. These systems support a multitude of events, from rock concerts to festivals to simulcasts of presidential inaugurations.

A unique granite paving pattern softens the 40,000 square feet of hardscape and creates an iconic look that's instantly recognizable from overhead blimp shots. Planters of poppies and drought-tolerant westringia, and platanus occidentalis shade trees introduce restful, elements to this highly urban site.