And the winner of the Sunset Junction design competition is …

The giant saddle!  After reviewing ballots cast at a community meeting,  a group overseeing the competition for a new plaza and monument at Silver Lake’s Sunset Junction selected an entry shaped like a  giant  saddle of woven steel as the winner. The saddle-shaped entry, which  provide shade and space in its center for a grassy knoll and meeting area, was  designed by a group called All That is Solid, composed of Danielle Wagner, Alex Chew, Max Kuo and Heather McGinn.  The saddle was one of five finalists competing to build the $100,000 project, which will anchor the western edge of a Sunset Boulevard street improvement.

“The committee, composed of Silver Lake community stakeholders, will be working with the All That is Solid design team to refine the concept based on the contest design criteria, and the city’s budget and engineering guidelines,” said Council District 13 spokeswoman Julie Wong.

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  1. Ugh. I actually liked the bamboo one.

  2. sounds like a fix….why would they build steel when the eco friendly bamboo was way better?!

  3. Alexis Montague

    I can’t wait for those little ganger boys to piss their names all over this thing.

  4. yay! i like it almost as much as i like reading from all the jaded eastsiders that hate it!

  5. This lovely image is pronounced to be buildable for $100,000. or under? ….Good luck, folks.

  6. What’s a ‘ganger’? Sounds like something with some gnarly fangs.

  7. Alberto de Silver Lake

    Almost anything is better than what’s there now. I’m going to think positive and hope that it will make the Sunset Junction corner look better than it does now. The Circus of Books should clean up the graffiti and paint splats thats been on their walls for years, and what about the spills of paint on the intersection of Sunset and Sanborn? And the piles of litter everywhere. And what about that shack that gets tagged constantly on the corner of Sunset and Sanborn? Hopefully the whole corner will be cleaned up. The Sunset Junction is one of the things Silver Lake is known for right?

  8. It rocks. Build it now. Next!

  9. That’s the best thing they could come up with.. How much is that horrid thing going o cost?

  10. i really like the ‘saddle’ garden sculpture. Is it cortend steel? I think it’s really great. Congratulations to the winners on a wonderful design.

  11. Thank god it was not that neon discs monstrosity! And nothing that lights up… Phew. This ain’t Universal City Walk.

    Glad to see it was one of the designs with foliage involved. I find this second rendering of “the saddle” much better than the original one. I like it. Not as intrusive as it sits lower than in the first one we saw posted here.

    While, in my opinion, none of the final five choices were amazing or anything and I think that money could be better spent elsewhere in the community, I’m quite glad/relieved that this one won.

  12. Now imagine if they’d dumped $100K into the schools instead of a piece of public “art”. Nice priorities.

  13. A stunningly beautiful juxtaposition of industrial and organic. Let’s hope the city doesn’t stop here! Congrats to the deserving winners.

  14. Not bad. I kinda like it. What I don’t get about this city is: for the last lets say 50 years it’s been a neglected triangular island. Why the sudden interest especially in these hard times. These beautificatin projects really get under my skin when so many are neglected.

  15. Allegra Carpenter

    I find this design fresh, fascinating, and dynamic. Its marriage of hardscape and landscape is seemless. The shape of this structure is utterly novel, thus far existing only in the virtual world. The design is not only brilliant, but practical. The relatively small planes of steel won’t offer enough real estate to invite graffiti. The steel is permanent, maintainable, and timeless. Can’t wait to see it come to life.

  16. I do live in the area and I must say that having to face a clump of grafitti and a resting clump of homless people resting under the thing dismays me to no end. I haven’t met a single neighbor who is aware of this impending distortion. How do we stop this thoughtless irrelevant disaster.

  17. Wow.

    What an incredible pile of crap.

    Just when you think Hipsters scum can’t do anything more useless, inane and self-absorbed like the naked bike ride, they up the ante with this.

    And people are actually debating it’s merits.

    Truly pathetic.

    Perhaps it would look better with an ironic moustache or a hip graffitti stencil on it?

  18. congrats to the design winners. can’t wait to see something cool go there !

  19. A hearty congratulations to the winners! An inspired piece of public art. One hopes the City continues to make beautification and public art a priority. Can’t imagine how anyone found anything to complain about. Sounds like a bunch of SORE LOSERS!!

  20. Um…really? I guess I am a “jaded eastsider,” but this is the east side. A saddle…really? With plants in it? How about something interesting, attractive and provocative. It’s supposed to be art. This is more like an oversized craft project. Maybe someone who understands art should have been consulted. Also, public “plant art” doesn’t usually last long. Have you been by the landscape project/overgrown weedpatch near the Shakespeare bridge? And once that metal heats up in the summer, the plants will fry.

  21. It’s better than what’s there now, I kind of like it. And as for @ Alberto’s comments – couldn’t agree more. You can put this sculpture in there but without fixing up everything around it, you basically have a sculpture in the middle of a dumpish intersection with graffiti, garbage and fast food joints. If this is supposed to be what SL is known for, I’m embarrassed that it’s anchored by an El Pollo Loco on one side and a Jiffy Lube on another.

  22. This looks like a taco. Now I’m hungry for some Mexican food.

  23. LA is host to an extraordinary wealth of world-reknowned artists, designers, architects, and creative geniuses.

    So why do we get the worst public “art” of any major city in the world?

    This looks like it should be sold at a discount on Etsy.com. Tacky and regrettable.

  24. Isn’t this supposed to take the place of Jiffy Lube? Or at least that was the original plan a few years ago when this planning all started. I think Circus cleaned up the graffiti for the most part. At least the Sunset store front is so awesomely decorated with my friend’s faces haha.

    In any case, I think it’s gonna stick out in a bad way. Why couldn’t they just do some nice simple garden-y type plaza/park/square like the bit up the street where they have the farmer’s market? Instead they opt for monstrous “art”..Easily could have scaled down the art aspect and incorporated more greenery…this is just going to look like a spectacle and even more so when it gets graffiti, stenciled, or wheat pasted on…prime example, the corner or sunset/sanborn where the motorcycle shop is constantly getting hit up..which they do paint over and then in a day or two it’s hit up again. what can you do?

  25. totally dumb, no one will use it, just plant some fucking plants in there make it look nice, who cares about $100,000.00 obstacle that will just get smashed into by a car within a matter of time. Its stupid to be totally in debt and cutting back library hours, closing parks, laying off teachers but decide to spend money on this, totally fucking dumb, people are you really that retarded?

  26. @ Jim Brown: PREACH! I agree wholeheartedly.

  27. What @Jim Brown said.

  28. The piece looks overly concerned with celebrating itself as a Mega Art Statement and does not look like it has anything to do with the surrounding area at all.

    In short; this design is TRYING TOO HARD to impress. It reminds me of what a lot of 18 year old design students do during their first semester in college; loud just for the sake of loud.

  29. silverlake for decades

    svnsls said it best. Just wait till that steel heats up, what few plants that are left to grow after the initial enthusiastic first planting is over will surely fry on the anvil of this public art fiasco upon the first summer. the remaining rusty surfaces will be perfect for each tagger to enjoy placing his lame tag in each empty slot. good luck painting that rusty steel out over and over. can’t wait to sit on that thing, it will be truly a wonder of our time.

  30. silverlake for decades

    one more thing, i like being able to see those stores on santa monica when i’m traveling down Sunset. When i’m stopped at the light i look over at the stores. this monster will block the view of those stores. Why go so high. A simple park would suffice like the one in the triangle park on sunset. A simple rock to sit and maybe some grass. This is beyond retarded and doesn’t say silverlake, it says public art monstrosity.

  31. Mmm…Pringles. You all whine like a bunch of babies. Money for schools is important but there are multiple reasons that teachers are getting laid off. Do you guys know how much $ schools get that don’t go to the proper channels. You think this $100K is going to keep and extra teacher around. That’s naive.

    This is a separate budget issue. It sounds counter intuitive but it’s important that we invest money into less useful things like this. Many of these compaints have been responded to in previous posts but this is not the same kind of lot as the farmers market one. To make this a park would be silly.

    But frankly all the armchair art critics sound so dumb. “This reminds me of blah blah blah (insert comment about high school artists, hipsters, etc). You know what you sound like? Like the obnoxious kid in art class who had to give their opinion on every piece to 1. feel important and 2. get a good grade. No grades here people! And a poorly written, incoherent, anonymous message on the Internet doesn’t make you important.

    I don’t know what art installements you’re saying are so much better in other cities. They’re almost all crazy weird or super classic (i.e. fountains) when it comes to Europe. or South America. Or Asia for that matter.

    This installation is interesting. Great? Dunno. Is it the Mona Lisa? Probably not. But please find something worthwhile to complain about. This has been a crappy spot for years and as soon as they try to do something with it, it’s like hearing a bunch of old ladies complaining about how loud the church music is. Graffiti, homeless people, dead plants. Sure they could be issues but those aren’t going away with a different design. If any of you complain about how it’s a waste of money to try things like this go move to a GD communist country where the buildings are grey (Easy to clean up graffiti cuz it’s already grey!), boring and efficient. It’s IMPORTANT to invest in things even if it doesn’t appeal to everybody. Seriously. Here are you options: 1. design something better and fight tooth and nail to get your awesome design to take the place of this thing (I doubt you will). 2. form a committee and make another crappy corner look good with something YOU like (you know, like be productive but again, I doubt you will). 3. fight to make sure this doesn’t happen and it stays the wonderful corner it is right now. 4. post a complaint on a message board but not do crap about it.

    Just a guess but those of you who complain the loudest seem like you don’t do much to make this community better. But it does make for good comment board fodder so thanks for that.

    I’m not an artist nor a friend of the designers who won, lost or even entered. So fire away but with good arguments!

  32. silverlake for decades

    here’s a thought, 100k to a community garden/teaching kids how to grow vegetables and raise city chickens. if you want to throw our money away on an eyesore, feel free. I”m not saying this corner is where to put said garden, but really what’s wrong with that corner as is? it’s just where cars meet. no people ever hang out there. I wouldn’t want to sit there. Too many damn cars.

  33. It’s a silly structure really. It looks like the kind of thing you’d see plonked down in Pheonix. No sense of place, no sense of purpose, and not art.

  34. Who writes 2 page dissertations complaining about people complaining?

    Ranting about how dumb people sound as art critics- then going on to spit their own dumb critique- using the Mona Lisa as a reference …

    You’ve never seen good public art in Europe, S. America or Asia? Then it’s hard to believe you’ve ever been there.

    This is a public forum where people are commenting on public art.- that makes much more sense then your babble.

    I wouldn’t say you should move to a “GD communist country” (a bit too suburban 80’s for my taste) but I would suggest you get off your throne and go for a walk or buy a dog you condescending kook.

  35. Haha.

    Complaining about complainers is certainly a mortal sin. But it’s SO satisfying! What you’re saying is like pointing out that’s it’s hypocritical to punch a dude who’s punching dudes.

    I made a critique of the art because I said its probably not the Mona Lisa. Seems reasonable in light of the other more intense opinions. I’m basically arguing that it is interesting. Is it not interesting?

    I’ve never been to Asia, Europe or S America because I’m skeptical of their public art? But seriously I would like a couple examples of a modern public art installment that you think those communities didn’t rail against like ours is doing right now.

    Can you imagine the uproar we would get if somebody put in the Hollywood sign now? And that wasn’t even art at the time! Have some cajones people and support weird things like this. It’s just baffling that this is the thing people get pissed about. What about the abandoned hotel eyesore across the street or pioneer chicken or circuit city which all look like crap and are dens for the homeless and graffiti artists but instead we get 70 comments from armchair art critics.

    I really wrote 2 pages of non sensical babble? You seemed to understand what I wrote. I think it is pretty coherent with a lame joke or two thrown in for good measure. Who doesn’t like the visual of old church ladies getting all up in arms?

    Good point about it being a public forum to comment on art. Can’t argue with that. I just wish people would do something about making the REST of the area nice instead of spending their emotionally energy being angry about a small community project that though imperfect (a reasonable assumption) is still kinda cool. Is it really as ugly as people are acting like?

    Here is what I was striving for with my dissertation. That people would say “Meh, not my favorite but let’s people the bamboo one at such and such a corner!” or “Meh, don’t love it but it’d be cool if we figured out who the developer of that nasty abandoned hotel is and publically shame him until he at least tears it down and we can turn THAT into a park.”

    -pretty normal dog owner who walks around the lake regularly.

  36. Congratulations to winner and all candidates! Anything is better than the existing empty triangular island attracting home less people. And for all the haters, if you don’t like what will be erected, maybe you should have entered the contest if you had a better idea. Otherwise, save the negative comments and enjoy! Actions speak louder than words. Peace!

  37. silverlake for decades

    Hey Jat, i didn’t know there was a competition till i saw these “finalists” so don’t tell me to save the negative comments. I can comment all i want. If there is still an opening now that i know 100k is going to the best design maybe i will . i have experience working on public spaces that i’ve actually had to maintain long after the thrill of the new is gone. So i know what it’s like to deal with graffiti, human feces/urine and constant trash. Just because you put a giant “art piece somewhere doesn’t mean you’ve solved the current homeless problem you’re pointing out. The only place i see that attracts homeless people on that corner is the bus stop bench in front of the jiffy lube. Should we erect an “art” project there too?

  38. Wow, what a bunch of whiny ass art critics. “This will attract the vandalism”, “This will block my view of the stores”, “It looks like a (insert lame-ass comparison here)”, “It’ll get hit by a car”… Yep, might as well give up. Because it’s such a great corner right now after all.

    In case you never stopped to think about it, there isn’t a gigantic pot of money somewhere that pays both teacher salaries and public art projects – it’s a different budget. Congratulations to the Silver Lake Improvement Association for raising the money, and congratulations to the competition winners for a delightful design.

  39. However I will say this: the competition was run in a truly half-assed way. It was barely publicized, community outreach was nonexistent (the owner of Jiffy Lube learned at the meeting of plans to demolish his business), the selection process was weird and murky – the “public vote” was a meaningless sham. And there has been no effort to show the public the entries, which I find truly baffling. Fifty or Sixty highly qualified teams dedicated tons of unpaid time to create a vision for the corner, and they deserve to have at the minimum some kind of public showing of their work. Is it that hard to post a bunch of PDFs?

  40. People who complain about spending money on art while ‘school budgets get slashed’ might take a look at the newspaper today telling how “The state’s 714 death row prisoners cost $184 million more per year than those sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole”. It’s 184 million dollars being spent on killing people. C’mon! Wall street rapes the country and siphons off TRILLIONS of dollars and tanks the world economy. I find the vitriol expressed here over an art project to be so out of whack with the issue. Why can folks channel this ‘outrage’ on issues that will make a difference? This little project is just that, little. Sure, you can whine and complain. Reminds me of the saying: penny wise – pound foolish.

  41. The winners are apparently using their win to promote their house flipping business. Fine, that’s how it’s supposed to work .

    Why not give the other entrants a little one-up for their efforts, also? Put all 59 entries on the web somewhere!

  42. If you don’t like the design, email Garcetti (councilmember.garcetti@lacity.org) and let him know!

  43. @Parabanger
    It seems more like the eastsider promoted their flipping business using their contest win. Which I think just comes from being in the public spotlight. They won and people looked into what else they were doing.

    But I agree they should put up all the other entrants. It would be nice for us to see and a little good publicity for entrants.

  44. Other SJ competition proposals I found searching through this thing they call the Internets!

    Design, Bitches: http://www.designbitches.com/#1467146/Cloud-Loop

    Leticia SooHoo: http://archinect.com/people/project/9806197/sunset-junction-competition/9806199

    Teo Biocina: http://teobiocina.com/1359300/Sunset-Junction

    Dannon Rampton, Valerie Watson and David Shook (via gelatobaby):

    Scout Regalia: http://www.scoutregalia.com/SR_work_SUNSET-JUNCTION-01.htm

  45. silverlake for decades

    thanks O, the last one (via gelatobaby) is the only one that has a little sign for silverlake, bike racks and trees(also nicely shown with cgi over existing site. so simple and effective.i wouldn’t have know about this unless you hadn’t found and posted the loser, and that one is my favorite because it’s not trying to be arty, just functional. I think all the artsy people, stores and trends coming through will be more than enough for this corner. A nice timeless set of trees and benches and bike parking is the blank canvass for everybody to express themselves on.

  46. This dumb thing will look ridiculous. Yeah, people are gonna sit in there with traffic 3 feet away.I agree with many of the above that a simple planting of greens and sustainable pro landscaping would look better. A couple of trees to make some shade. With the stupid looking Jiffy Lube beside it and the eyesore paint job at Circus of Books with all it’s trash and no trash cans. Again, why are there no city trash cans at Sunset Junction?

  47. I am curious how the “grassy knoll” will be maintained. Not like a mower can be utilized. Other ground covers could possibly work, but I still believe maintenance will be an issue not to mention accessibility. Looking at the winning group’s website (www.allthatissolid.net) I did not find any plant material listed that would fulfill this role. I feel the scale of the piece is far too large for such a small area. Of course it probably should be at vehicle scale since few pedestrians can actually use the space. The money would be much better spent hiring a landscape architect who could properly assess pedestrian needs and outfit the space with proper site elements. Have fun sitting on the gravel or planting medium once the plants have deteriorated. I am surprised that a group of architects designed this and not engineers. Although I feel it is both inventive and creative, it will not fulfill the intended use. That seems to be common practice in this city. I give it a C+.

  48. Look what happened to Los Feliz triangle mini park (hollywood blvd/vermont ave.) where the city spent 1 million dollars turned out to be 2, 3 homeless people’s nest. it only benefitted those homeless folks and whoever got paid working on it. It really upsets me when a lot of money being wasted, there are so many streets all over Los Angeles in need of repairs instead of creating more trash.

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