Platanus Bibliotechalis

David Wiseman has replicated a breed of sycamore in the staircase of West Hollywood’s new library.

Los Angeles-based designer David Wiseman has infused his idealized vision of nature into the grand interior stairwell of the New West Hollywood Library.

In his handmade works, Wiseman aims to give his observation of nature a physical consistence, created using a design process based on numerous drawings and plaster molds.

For the Hollywood library installation, Wiseman birthed a new species: Platanus bibliotechalis. He says it’s a hybrid between regional sycamores, which grow in the nearby West Hollywood park, and an alleged ancient species belonging to the library’s territory.

‘Clad in cast porcelain sycamore bark, tree trunks emerge from the stairs,’ Wiseman explains. ‘Plastered steel and bronze branches continue their ascent toward the skylight (18-m-high) and sprout copper, brass and steel leaves as well as porcelain seed pods.’

The 3D creatures – simultaneously ghostly and delicate – maintain a sense of ambiguity while inviting people to ascend to the library’s upper levels.

Photos courtesy Mark Hanauer.

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