Part of a decades long effort by the Port of Los Angeles to improve the city’s waterfront and reconnect long-severed communities to the coast, the Wilmington Waterfront Park has been many years in the making. Sasaki has been leading the charge for over a decade in the Wilmington neighborhood, designing and implementing a first phase, 20-acre “buffer” park in 2011 and more recently planning and designing its 9-acre waterfront counterpart. On this latest effort – dubbed Wilmington Waterfront Park – Gina Ford served as the design principal from concept design through documentation while a principal at Sasaki.
Inspired by the rich cultural and ecological diversity, the park uses significant introduced topography to create a dramatic terraced landscape that both mimics the native coastline and helps to buffer the park from industrial operations. A series of iconic spaces – upland gardens, a children’s play space, an event lawn, a picnic pier, and an activated public plaza – all enjoy views to the ocean and introduce new ways for the community to enjoy its atmosphere. Central to the design are the Water Steps – a graceful urban staircase where visitors can sit proximate the lapping waves or enjoy the sunset. The park makes way for future economic development opportunities, provides improved access and parking and offers community amenities to enable longer stays.Project Images