Historically, a public plaza has acted as a meeting point, a place to gather, to see and be seen; it is a space for dialogue, performance, and exchange. With these qualities in mind, our project will transform the plaza into something different - a garden space for exploration, improvisation, and play. The plaza will become an elevated terrace, planted with native grasses, trees, and wildflowers. The landscape will change over time, offering a different experience from one visit to the next. Using the strong edges and perfect circles of Pei’s design as a formal point of departure, we will carve away sections of the boundary to create opportunities for programming. The library steps can become a forum for performance, conversation, or reading. The southeastern corner will be a long bench for visitors to relax, read, and enjoy the Henry Moore sculpture.

Frida Escobedo Studio is an architecture and design studio based in Mexico City. The projects produced at the studio operate within a theoretical framework that addresses time not as a historical calibration, but rather a social operation. Principal Frida Escobedo produces work that ranges from art installation and furniture design to residential and public buildings in Mexico and around the world. The firm’s projects include “You know you cannot see so well as by reflection,” a summer pavilion designed for the central courtyard of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2015, and “A very short space of time through very short times of space,” an art installation commissioned by Stanford University in 2016. Frida Escobedo Studio has just completed the 2018 Serpentine Pavilion in Kensington Gardens, London. Escobedo is the youngest designer—and only the second woman—to receive this prestigious commission. Like many of Escobedo’s projects, its sophisticated form is created from simple materials.

"I think the most interesting aspect of architecture is how it ages, how it changes incrementally in response to the ways that people use it — and this almost invariably evolves to encompass things the architect could never have anticipated. In this way, architecture continues to reflect its public, its community, indefinitely."