LA Opens Its Heart of Compassion - CODAworx

LA Opens Its Heart of Compassion

Submitted by Lightswitch

Client: The Vermont Residences

Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $1,600,000

Project Team


The Vermont Residences

The Vermont Residences

Industry Resource



Cliff Garten

Cliff Garten Studios


Renowned artist Cliff Garten has transformed what could have been an ordinary parking garage at The Vermont residences on Wilshire Boulevard into an extraordinary new work of art. His new work, titled “Los Angeles Opens Its Heart of Compassion,” comprises a 20-foot-high, suspended sculpture and a transparent, 75-foot-by-45-foot, undulating, illuminated screen that grace the parking garage façade of these new luxury apartments in Koreatown. The laser-cut aluminum sculpture represents a lotus flower—a nod to the Korean community.


Lightswitch Architectural worked closely with Garten to design the lighting for the piece. After creating mock-ups based on detailed and exact pre-visualizations, we partnered with Martin, the fixture manufacturer, and 4 Wall, the systems integrator, from the specification phase through to the final focus to make sure that the lighting matched the mock-ups. Lit from the front, side and back, the undulating screen is washed with vibrant, saturated color. It provides the perfect backdrop for the sculpture, which is precisely illuminated from all angles with crisp, white light. Great care was taken to ensure that no light spilled from the sculpture to the wall and vice versa to maintain color purity for each element.


Our pre-visualizations allowed Garten to review the design before the lighting was ordered. By effectively communicating with the fixture manufacturer and systems integrator, we could seamlessly execute his vision without any “surprises” during the installation. The resulting combination of art, architecture and lighting has created a signature identity for The Vermont and has transformed a functional structure into public symbol that the whole neighborhood can enjoy