Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure
In order to establish a strong presence within the city’s cluster of civic buildings, this structure was conceived as much more than a traditional parking garage—rather, a functionally dynamic celebration of civic life. The 300,000 sf parking structure effectively provides not only 882 parking spaces (accommodated in six levels above grade and two below grade) but also a wide variety of amenities to the community. Serving as an easily identifiable marker for the entire civic center, the building affords spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the city from the upper levels, while a café on the main plaza terrace animates the pedestrian traffic flow.
Many factors contribute to the building’s status as one of the first LEED™ certified parking structures in the United States. Photovoltaic panels on the roof provide shade and a significant portion of total energy needs. Materials with a high recycled content were used, including fly-ash replacement for cement, and recycled-content reinforcing steel and framing.
The Parking Structure is a visually iconic presence in the Civic Center. Ribbed concrete panels are set in a shifting, rhythmic pattern on the façades, capturing a rich play of shadows while screening the presence of parked cars. A series of bays made of colored channel glass bring a lively, ever-changing quality by day. The character of the structure changes yet again in the evening, when the glass is illuminated to become a dancing curtain of color and light.
Executive Architect: International Parking Design
Photography: John Edward Linden