Retail Project Featuring Unique OTL Water Feature Wins Westside Urban Forum 2021 Westside Prize and Design Award
Freedom Plaza, a retail project in Los Angeles, California’s Watts neighborhood that features a uniquely artistic water feature created by OTL, has won an award.
The recently completed project within the Jordan Downs mixed-use redevelopment has received a Citation Award in the Retail/Restaurant category in the Westside Urban Forum 2021 Westside Prize & Design Awards. The awards are presented by Westside Urban Forum (WUF), a networking organization dedicated to discussions about land-use issues that impact Los Angeles’ Westside.
Owned and developed by Primestor, Freedom Plaza is distinguished by Instill, an inspirational water feature designed and constructed by OTL. The plaza’s fountains highlight the artistic talents of OTL’s director of creative design Chris Roy, who personally crafted a series of typography and drawings based on phrases and images significant to Watts residents and etched them into the fountains’ natural stone columns, fabricated by Southwest Boulder.
The water feature serves as the “voice of the neighborhood” of Watts and satisfies a City of Los Angeles requirement that owners of private development fee projects fund public art through the Private Arts Development Fee Program, which requires 1% of the cost of the project to be set aside for an art component. This program infuses beauty and culture into central gathering spaces, which in turn elevates these spaces for stakeholders and the local community.
Among the WUF jury notes lauding Freedom Plaza are: “It has great features like outdoor seating and water features, and appears very walkable,” “This is big and bold, and much needed. We want to reward the team that brought it to life. They did it!,” and “A fun commercial project that has a great community feel. It’s an urbanistic achievement.”
Freedom Plaza features architectural work by Nadel Architects + Planning, Inc., landscape architectural work by Fong Hart Schneider, structural engineering by ANF & Associates, civil engineering by Fusco Engineering, M/E/P engineering by Henderson Engineers, Inc., general contracting by VCC General Contractors, and lighting design by Francis Krahe & Associates.