The Mesmerizing “Liquid Shard” Brings Pershing Square Back to Life

The moribund Pershing Square Park in downtown Los Angeles briefly came back to life over the past few weeks, thanks to artist Patrick Hearn’s monumental and mesmerizing Liquid Shard, which is made of holographic mylar and monofilament and spans some 15,000 square feet. Riding invisible wind currents, the piece undulates along a span 15 feet high to the top of the park’s tower, at 150 feet high.

According to Hearn, “the inspiration comes from observing nature and the feeling that we are only aware on a very surface level of what is really going on around us. Unexpected things are revealed in time-lapse or hyper-spectrum photography that fascinate me. Like fractals recurring progressively, we feel the currents of air on our skin but do not see the larger movements.”

The video above also shows the incredible capabilities of video-enabled drones. A technology largely unavailable even a few years ago, video-enabled drones now allow artists and designers of all kinds to tell new stories about the places they have created. The value for landscape architects is clear.

As the temporary installation Liquid Shard comes down, Paris-based landscape architecture firm Agence Ter soon start their work redesigning the unloved park. According to The Architect’s Newspaper, “the French landscape firm’s approach is notable for the ‘town square’ approach taken to the site, where a large canopy located at the western edge of the park will house cafés and other amenities that open onto a grassy knoll at the center of the park.”

Los Angeles city council officials hope the new park will open by 2019.

One thought on “The Mesmerizing “Liquid Shard” Brings Pershing Square Back to Life

  1. Kim Cooper 08/17/2016 / 10:17 am

    Patrick Hearn’s temporary installation was a wonderful addition to Pershing Square. The shade cast in the center of the park, combined with the artificial turf that made the inverted fountain accessible for strolling and sitting, demonstrated that something to block the sun is what Pershing Square needs more than anything. While Angelenos wait to learn if there will be any funding to move forward with the latest proposed reinvention of Pershing Square, the Pershing Square Restoration Society continues to advocate for a return to John Parkinson’s classic 1910 design, with trees and shrubs shading benches along the axial walkways. And in the mean time, why not bring back the wonderful “Liquid Shard” for a longer stay? It works and people love it!

    Learn more about the restoration campaign at

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