Thrown for a Loop, Downtown Installation Trades In Colors For Monochromatic Makeover


Photo by Asia Morris.

Downtown users of The Loop at Pine + Ocean, a temporary installation unveiled in 2016, may have noticed the wear and tear of what was once a colorful new fixture of the upper Pine Avenue area.

While the arching structure helped transform a highly visible corner of downtown Long Beach from a “dead zone” to a community gathering space, noticeable challenges have arisen “due to the inherent nature of it being designed in an urban setting,” stated the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA).

Last week, Stereo.Bot, the design firm behind the initial iteration of The Loop, was commissioned to begin work on a new version of the part art installation, part event space, to be completed Friday, the DLBA announced today.

“DLBA is funding the project through its Public Realm budget for all costs not to exceed $41,000, which includes material and labor,” DLBA President and CEO Kraig Kojian told the Post.

The original fabric on the truss structure was replaced with an aluminized screen material called Aluminet, which is expected to maintain its “vibrancy” for the next three to five years and allow the continued use of interior lighting and speakers. Typically used in industrial and agricultural settings, the more durable material aims to reinvigorate the look of The Loop while improving its use in an active, urban environment.

“The challenges The Loop faced derived from environmental factors and graffiti,” DLBA Placemaking Manager Sean Warner told the Post. “The new Aluminet material will not be subject to color fading, as the previous fabric. Additionally, Aluminet allows for a cost-effective repair solution for damage and allows for easy paint/graffiti removal through its resistant material.”

The structure will still be capable of being redesigned in various sections, as well as relocated to other areas that need activating at a future date, according to the DLBA.

“We are excited to bring this fresh look to The Loop in order to continue its function of creating an attractive public space for residents, visitors and workers to socialize while enjoying the outdoors,” Sean Warner, the DLBA’s Placemaking Manager, said in a statement. “We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to continue to activate the area, and therefore, we identified this cost-effective and longer-term solution to give new life to The Loop.”

Since The Loop’s unveiling in April 2016, over 130,000 people have enjoyed what was a dormant 7,700-square-foot area, according to the DLBA. Community events including last fall’s The Lunch at The Loop event series, which featured food from downtown restaurants and a lineup of local musicians on Fridays, have sought to continue the activation of the space for almost two years.

The DLBA also announced that the first Live After 5 of the season will launch at The Loop on Thursday, February 15 from 5:00PM to 9:00PM. Scheduled for the third Thursday of each month, The Loop will serve as the main hub for Live After 5 and feature live entertainment, food and drink as well as function as a center for information on other venues for that evening.

For more information and to sign up for The Loop’s newsletter, please visit the website here.

The Loop is located at 100 East Ocean Boulevard.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.