Incorporating sustainable solutions, engineering & community engagement in LA
Once a part of the Pacific coastline, over time the Wilmington community became disconnected from the waterfront by the Port of Los Angeles - a burgeoning, diverse mix of industrial maritime facilities. After completing the Wilmington Waterfront Master Plan, Sasaki Associates identified three open spaces for implementation: the Wilmington Waterfront Park, the Avalon North Streetscape, and the Avalon South Waterfront Park.
The Wilmington Waterfront Park is the first project in the three-prong scheme to be fully implemented. Built on a 30-acre brownfield site, the new urban park revitalises the community and visually reconnects it to the waterfront. The park integrates a variety of active and passive uses - informal play, public gathering, community events, picnicking, sitting, strolling, and observation - determined through an extensive community outreach process. The open space serves as a public amenity by doubling the current community open space while also buffering the Wilmington community from the extensive port operations to the south.
In order to protect the community park from the port's impacts, Sasaki created a strong sculptural landform which elevates the existing planar grade of the neighbourhood to 16ft. This land integrates a series of multipurpose playfields with shade-dappled, gentle grass slopes. Atop the landform, the El Paseo Promenade provides a primary component of the pedestrian circuit with seating, display gardens, and a shared use pedestrian and bicycle path linked to the California Coastal Trail.
Tree-lined promenades extend the park's network of pedestrian circuits and meanders, offering a variety of seating for respite, contemplation, and viewing park activities including interactive water features, an adventure playground for children, plazas for gathering and performances, and picnicking within the tree groves. Sasaki integrated sustainable design practices and innovative engineering technologies into the overall project.