One of Zaha Hadid’s Final Projects May be a Digital Billboard on Sunset

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"The Prism," a proposal by JCDecaux in collaboration with Zaha Hadid
“The Prism,” a proposal by JCDecaux in collaboration with Zaha Hadid (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Do you hate digital billboards? A lot of people do, and so the City of West Hollywood, in a bid to create a lovable digital billboard on a site it owns on the Sunset Strip, has created a design competition for ideas. The four shortlisted teams presented on May 18 at a public hearing in WeHo, and designs are online for people to comment on.

Listen to the DnA segment here:

View the video here:

Among the finalists is the late Zaha Hadid (with sign company JC Decaux). Her longtime design partner Patrik Schumacher will present the design she created. Called “The Prism,” her scheme suggests two large petal-like shapes — as well as shade structures at ground level.

The other teams are:

  • Orange Barrel Media/Tom Wiscombe Architecture/MoCA; their proposal “West Hollywood Belltower” features a three-dimensional shape, like a rhomboid shaped band with imagery on all sides, and a seating area below.
  • Outfront Media/ Gensler/MAK Center for Art and Architecture; their concept includes a cluster of signs that would convey multiple messages.
  • Tait Towers Inc.; they’ve offered “Vortex,” a 70-foot-tall sculpture that twists, with an LED display and an array of lighting sequences.

The goal is to improve the standard of billboards on the Strip, and to get people involved in determining how they want digital billboards to look in the future. In addition, the goal of the design is to create a public space around the billboard.

“We don’t want to go Las Vegas. We are uniquely West Hollywood. We really want to embrace our identity as a smaller creative city with some really exciting destinations,” said Bianca Siegl, Long Range and Mobility Planning Manager at the City of West Hollywood.

The selection committee (which includes City staff, consultants Selbert Perkins Design with Standard Vision, and Dana Cuff of UCLA) expects to make a recommendation regarding the winning team by the end of the month. The City Council is expected to consider approval of the contract and final design proposal early this fall.

Here are some images of the design proposals: