Exterior Staircase Connects West Hollywood Park’s Greenspace to Its Pools

Paul Steinbach Headshot
Screenshot 2023 08 28 At 3 32 26 Pm
Photo by Costea Photography Inc.

Staircases are a common means of connecting venue levels, but the grand stair at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center takes the concept to atypical literal and figurative heights. By placing the risers on the building exterior, designers created not just a practical pedestrian conveyance linking the park green to the pools above, but a multipurpose park amenity that accommodates exercisers (there are more steps than at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, conquered by “Rocky” in the 1976 film’s famous training montage), casual lunch dates, spectators of performances and other activities in the park and, conversely, staging for speakers addressing large public assemblies on the green. Breaks in the ascension provide space for staging at one level, relaxation and special receptions on the next, and yoga instruction on the uppermost deck that leads to the pools — all topped by a neon sign depicting a diver in vintage 1950s swimwear, as well as landmark lettering across the facility roof. “There isn’t a lot of open space in West Hollywood,” says Rick D’Amato, a principal at LPA Design Studios in Irvine, Calif. “The stair itself is meant symbolically as a place to unite the community with these opportunities. It’s about how we start to connect activities in the park and create that sort of seamless connection from the park itself to the pools. But the climb isn’t this continuous shot. There’s the ability to pause and enjoy the park at different levels.”

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