Riverside Roundabout – Los Angeles, California - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, California

Riverside Roundabout

An L.A. traffic island where the faces of locals have been carved into massive granite eggs. 

People can say a lot of things about Los Angeles. That it’s got too much smog; it’s hot; that the entertainment industry in the city has created a cutthroat culture of broken dreams. But you can no longer say that the city doesn’t have enough granite eggs with human faces.

Located in the Cypress Park neighborhood of L.A., the roundabout at the intersection of Riverside Drive and San Fernando Road is a uniquely European traffic feature in a city known for its driving. It’s also home to a remarkable public art installation that celebrates the local community and natural flora with massive granite egg sculptures.

Installed in 2017 by the design studio Greenmeme, the Riverside Roundabout was designed as a work of art that reflects its specific surroundings, as well as give passing drivers something amazing to discover. The nine stone eggs that sit on the roundabout look like they were 3D printed by a stonecutter, segmented into sharply geometric, stacked slices. Inside of each egg is a face, sculpted from an actual member of the surrounding community, randomly selected from hundreds of applicants. Beneath the eggs, amongst smaller, sculpted pieces related to the larger ones, is a small green space that’s populated by plants native to the local area, and maintained with wastewater and storm runoff.

Encircling the entire installation is an undulating, ridged granite ring that, when looked at from above, reveals itself as still another of the face eggs, stretched and distorted into a circle. It’s egg faces all around.

At 8 to 12 feet tall, the egg faces of the Riverside Roundabout are specifically tailored to catch the eye, while not obstructing or interfering with traffic. But you’d be forgiven for rubbernecking a little at the giant eggs staring back at you.