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Los Angeles, CA

In LA there’s nothing we like more than an easy-access parking spot. Jump in, jump out, and be on our way. But, that often comes at a cost to our urban fabric: its scale, character and walkability are all sacrificed in order to accommodate this basic demand. It’s not the car that has shaped our sprawling landscape, it’s convenience.

And so it is. This is the fabric we inherited. Short of tearing it down to rebuild a smarter, denser solution — much of which is occurring along major boulevards like Santa Monica, Sunset, and Wilshire — we now must retrofit a remedy to redefine our streets from the parking lots and mini-malls that pattern our city … without sacrificing the convenience we all cherish.

On the corner of Pico and Robertson sits a clever solution no deeper than a parking spot itself. Occupying the territory typically owned by fencing or foliage sits an exemplary kiosk. Unlike its ordinary counterparts, this bright blue Spanish-style kiosk has broadened its shoulders to occupy the length of the lot, opening its face to passersby — both pedestrian and vehicular alike — to define the street-edge, and grant a new sense of scale and place.

This suture of sorts highlights an underutilized opportunity: the slivers that line our lots. Not only does this rare typology have the potential to reshape our streets, but also to provide added revenue to its landowners through retail. It accepts the mini-mall, the drug-store parking lot, the program we’ve all come to know and love, but steps in to invert its very nature to give scale and place back to us, its users, the pedestrian.