Letters from the Hollywood sign appeared to have toppled from their position in the Santa Monica Mountains, as part of an installation by London studio Ordinary Architecture (+ slideshow).
Named Falling Icon, the installation was created to run for just one day by Ordinary Architecture co-founders Charles Holland – formerly of FAT architecture – and Elly Ward as part of On the Road, a series of events promoting architecture and design in Los Angeles.
Ward and Holland replicated the white 14-metre-high three-dimensional letters of the Hollywood sign on a human scale and positioned them along the Mount Lee Drive trail that ascends the Santa Monica Mountains to the iconic sign.
"Unsuspecting trekkers in the Hollywood Hills encountered a huge 'H' in their path. A few steps later they discovered a viewfinder striped like a rockslide warning sign, through its lens it appeared that the 'H' was missing from the Hollywood sign," Elly Ward told Dezeen. "Continuing up the trail, more missing letters and viewfinders were discovered until finally there was nothing left of the sign at all."
The real Hollywood sign was first erected in 1923 as an advertisement for a new housing development, Hollywoodland, but later became symbolic of the local film industry. In the 1940s the development was sold and LA City Council refurbished the sign to remove the suffix 'land'. By 1978 the signage had badly deteriorated and a replacement was funded by a gala dinner thrown by Hugh Hefner.
The sign is located on a steep area of hillside made inaccessible to the public by security fencing and cameras. Ordinary Architecture's installation appears to bring the sign within reach, allowing visitors to touch, move and photograph the letters.
"Our installation attempted to placate the desire of every visitor in their impossible mission to reach the sign – even at the top of this long, steep trail, the elusive icon frustratingly remains just out of reach," said the architects.
Red and white striped viewfinders hone in on what appears to be the Hollywood sign with letters missing from its line up.
"The accompanying viewfinders built a playful narrative that suggested how the letters might have got there, and at the same time imagines how the loss of such an landmark might affect this legendary vista," said Ward.
Documentary photographs of the project show the letters being delivered to their location.
In one shot a woman is pictured with a giant 'W' in the back of a pick up truck.
Another pictures the letter playfully placed upside down to read 'M' with a family posing for a photo to one side.