In a monumental feat of visual trickery, London-based Ordinary Architecture made the letters that make up the iconic “Hollywood” sign appear to have disappeared from their perch in the Santa Monica Mountains. Falling Icon is an installation art piece by Ordinary co-founders Charles Holland and Elly Ward that was part of On the Road, a series of events aimed at promoting architecture and design in Los Angeles.

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The two designers made identical copies of the 46-foot-high 3D letters from the sign on a smaller scale and then placed them along the Mount Lee Drive Trail that takes many a hiker up the mountains to see the sign up close. “Unsuspecting trekkers in the Hollywood Hills encountered a huge ‘H’ in their path,” Ward told Dezeen. “A few steps later they discovered a viewfinders striped like a rockslide warning sign, through its lens it appeared that the ‘H’ was missing from the Hollywood sign. Continuing up the trail, more missing letters and viewfinders were discovered until finally there was nothing left of the sign at all.”

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The real sign, which was put up in 1946 to promote a new housing development called ‘Hollywoodland,’ has become an icon of America’s film capital – but is inaccessible to the public due to its location on a steep area of hillside, along with the security fencing and cameras that protect it. The Ordinary installation aimed to let visitors get a bit more intimate with the sign. “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,” Ward and Holland told Dezeen. “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 a landmark might affect this legendary vista,” Ward added.

Via Dezeen

Images via on the road / hollywood image TM & design © 2014 hollywood chamber of commerce