2015 : A.C. Bilbrew Library, Willowbrook

View: Interior Courtyard
"Rise and Shine" is located within an open courtyard at the A.C. Bilbrew Library, in the community of Willowbrook, Los Angeles. The artwork provides a sculptural environment where functions of seating, landscape and fresh air work to enhance the daily experience of the library staff and it's users. Contrary to the interior spaces, the site allows for higher levels of activity and sound encouraging unique programming opportunities.


site: A.C Bilbrew Library, Willowbrook, LA commissioning agent: Los Angeles County Art Commission
artist team: Freyja Bardell and Brian Howe
engineer: Michael Ni Associates
render work and CD prep: Edward Henry project manager: Erin Harkey and Pauline Kamiyama
outreach manager: Sara Daleiden medium: perforated stainless panel, concrete planter, irrigation, plants


Recent renovations to the 1970’s library created a direct access to the courtyard though a large glass partition wall, which made the space much more visible from within the library. Through a series of public meetings, the community expressed desires for a place of enjoyment, history, programming, landscaping and color. The community considered important that the artwork also relate to the original library, designed by Architect Vincent Proby.

Proby was a prominent architect and artist. The library is a classic mid-century building, planned within a grid and while much of the library is constructed with the most cost effective, durable materials of the time, certain elements of the library show Proby's artistic side. The stained glass entry, the textile works hung in the library, the ceiling light panels and what we found most fascinating-the facia detail that crowned the top of the building's exterior.

We chose to engage with this detail and generated a 3D model of its form, which we then translated into the 10 stainless steel thrones that wrap the courtyard, in 2 seating zones.

A concrete planter with a cable trellis, connects the seating zones. Set at a height that encourages visual exploration of the garden, sensory plants were selected to further encourage discoveries in the senses of touch and smell.

The final defining feature is the color gold which was painted around the entirety of the courtyard. It reflects off all the stainless steel, creating a softly glowing core to the library, that draws people's attention to the courtyard upon entering the building.

The artwork is a part of a series of projects funded by a grant from the Los Angeles County Parks and Regional Open Space District that use arts-based solutions to promote the value of civic spaces and deter vandalism at County properties. This artwork aims to demonstrate how design and integrated landscaping can be a physical deterrent to vandalism, and also promotes the continued preservation of A.C. Bilbrew Library, an important community asset