Now on display as part of CURRENT: LA's Public Art Biennial is "The Waterfall Pavilion," designed by Los Angeles architects wHY's Objects Workshop division in coordination with contemporary artist Rirkrit Tiravanija. The temporary installation is located at the point where water from Lake Balboa flows via a waterfall into the Los Angeles River, and consists of an open pavilion and a water purification wagon, corresponding to this year's festival theme of 'Water.'
The project as described by the architects:
When the international conceptual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija was commissioned to create a piece for the first Los Angeles Public Art Biennial, our Objects Workshop worked closely with his studio and the City's Cultural Affairs Department to realize the artists' vision for a place of meditation and rest as well as a series of programs ranging from watercolor classes to Chado tea ceremonies. Using available panel sizes and common construction-grade materials to keep costs on budget, we were able to work closely with the engineer and contractor to deliver the project on a tight deadline.
The gesture of the structure recalls the act of walking; the two 'feet' of the deck step across a spillway for recycled water. Large stones walk to the pavilion, encouraging visitors to linger. A unified roof with upturned beams creates a simple ceiling plan as well as a clean space to meditate, talk, or fish. A hidden helical pile foundation minimizes the impact of the temporary structure on the park.
The architects used the the expertise of non-profit Water One World Solutions to develop the water purification system, which allows the non-potable water from the river to be reclaimed, purified and publicly consumed. The water was also featured in performances during the festival's opening weekend.
"I am interested in the potentiality of a terrain that is located in the exchanges between the urban fabric, its users, and the wider context, and in the constant reformulation of this relation of exchange," said Rirkrit Tiravanija. "For CURRENT:LA I propose Waterfall Pavilion, a relational space that socializes and activates this otherwise forgotten area."
"wHY has a long history of collaborating with artists on structures, bringing the technical expertise necessary to realize their ideas." added Kulapat Yantrasast, architect at wHY. "This project is exciting because the Waterfall Pavilion introduces an alternative for the LA River – by crossing the river and cleaning the river, we are connecting people back to something they've avoided for quite a long time."
- Patrick Lynch