LA Plaza de Cultura Y Artes

City Elements columns along the pathways of the exterior grounds stand in the shadow of the US District Courthouse and Los Angeles City Hall in the background.

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, better known to locals as LA Plaza, is Los Angeles' first Mexican American museum dedicated to celebrate the influence of Mexican and Mexican-American culture on Los Angeles and all of Southern California. Located near the site where the City of Los Angeles was founded in 1781, the center is an official project of Los Angeles County and a Smithsonian Affiliate. The 2.2 acre campus includes indoor interactive exhibits, as well as an outdoor stage with grassy commons and a 30,000 square foot public garden. City Elements columns were used to illuminate the exterior, making this our featured project.
Because of the limited outdoor space available, a multi-functional approach was needed to integrate light, sound, and power, while providing safety and security for visitors. City Elements columns were configured to deliver a single source solution satisfying all of these needs while minimizing visual clutter and maximizing functionality with the smallest possible footprint.

Further Information

Click on the links below for further information on the City Elements modular light column system.

City Elements

City Elements columns located in the public garden area of the campus provide illumination for safety and security.

Sixteen columns, with an overall height of 12', were placed at key locations throughout the site. The columns incorporated an AR900 top element with 70w ceramic metal halide for general area lighting; and an intermediate BS300 accent element mounted directly below for an added layer of lighting for patrons during evening events. All of the columns include an integrated emergency ballast for the metal halide lamps to ensure an increased level of safety should a power interruption occur.
Midway along the length of each column are modules designed to accommodate a linear speaker system, allowing sound to be piped throughout the venue. A perforated stainless steel grille, painted to match the column, conceals the speakers, providing a clean, uncluttered appearance. An internal convenience outlet located behind the hand hole cover provides on-site power should the need arise. An integral chute below the hand hole allows cables to exit the column for closed door operation while in use.
Projects with complex configurations such as this require close collaboration among the designer, engineer, representative, and manufacturer to ensure successful results are achieved. The Los Angeles agency of David Silverman & Associates did just that, making the designer's vision a reality. Special thanks also go to Bill Gonzalez with the agency for providing the photography used in this article.