Architecture collective Figure used the scaffolding and mesh fabric commonly found on construction sites to create a shaded theatrical courtyard at Craft Contemporary in Los Angeles.
The temporary installation, called Veil Craft, is designed to resemble the many construction sites that can be found along Wilshire Boulevard and the surrounding streets.
But unlike a development site, this structure invites the public to come inside and discover an “unexpected pocket park” where they can sit, discuss or attend shows.
Here, the construction tarps were used to create shade and seclusion, rather than as a barrier to prevent entry.
“Construction textiles are meant to keep people out – this is a construction site, don’t come in, you don’t belong here, you don’t belong here,” James explained. Leng and Jennifer Ly, founders of Figure based in San Francisco.
“So there’s a very exclusive or exclusive mentality when it comes to drawing a line between the public and something that’s under construction,” they told Dezeen, “and we thought it would be. really interesting to reverse that. “
They did this by creating a space that is closed at the top but open at the base. The green net forms a blank facade, but instead of extending to the floor, it unfolds to create an awning.
When you enter the yard, green is replaced by white. This is pleated to create a veil-like quality, reminiscent of wedding dresses and theater curtains.
Seating frames the edge of the space, along with string lights and an assortment of potted plants.
Leng and Ly’s intention was to create a space welcoming in a way that a construction site is not, in order to question whether these developments really contribute to the quality and quality of life in the neighborhood.
The duo hope this space becomes a place for conversation about the future of the LA cityscape.
“When you drive on any major boulevard in LA, you just see a fabric of scaffolding in green, orange or black,” they said. “It’s an everyday aesthetic of a city that’s still under construction, and no one really thinks about it.”
“Construction is an essential activity because the city is supposed to build housing or essential infrastructure,” they continued.
“Yet throughout the Covid era we see an increase in displacement and unemployment, and through this poverty and crime. It makes us wonder who all this construction and development is going to benefit in. ultimately, especially because the construction process and aesthetics are all about hiding it from the public. “
Veil Craft was commissioned by Materials & Applications, a nonprofit cultural organization focused on experimental architecture.
The group has been behind many site-specific installations in the city, although this is the first in a series to be premiered in the courtyard of Craft Contemporary, as part of an annual program.
The facility opened on July 17 and will remain in place until September 12. It’s free and can be found at 5814 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036.
Group project: James Leng, Jennifer Ly, Tiger Fu, Oliver Moldow, Reishan McIntosh
CSI scaffolding: Sergio Chiquete Jr