Culver Steps Wins “Under Construction” Award from Los Angeles Business Council

Culver City is renowned for making things—from Gone with the Wind in the late ‘30s to aircraft wonders such as the “Spruce Goose.” Today, this maker-friendly city on the west side of Los Angeles continues its tradition of innovation so that its physical environment also embodies that creative spirit. The highly anticipated upcoming Culver Steps development has received the “Under Construction” Award from the Los Angeles Business Council’s Los Angeles Architecture Awards program.  Designed by landscape architects at SWA, this near acre-sized public plaza and Grand Staircase will serve as a central gathering space that connects 40,000 square feet of curated retail and restaurant space, 75,000 square feet of creative office space (welcome Amazon Studios!), and a two-level subterranean parking structure.

Once a flat parking lot at the city’s key crossroads and just a half mile from Metro transit to the beach or downtown, the new 55,000-square-foot public gathering space is now characterized by a gracefully terraced plaza.  An extensive green space called “The Hill,” was designed to cantilever over a new parking ramp and may be programmed for music, movies, and performances. A sophisticated water drainage system is integrated into the paving and biofilters will collect clean runoff, recharging the groundwater. The Steps operates like a relaxed, outdoor living room, encouraging the creative pursuit of another Southern California tradition: hanging out and people-watching.

“When the Culver Steps are completed,” says Culver City Vice Mayor Thomas Small, “our town plaza will be one of the most beautiful public spaces in California, flanked by the ‘Gone with the Wind’ Mansion and facing the historic Culver Hotel. Downtown Culver will become an even more vital and popular than it is now.”

 A mixed-use building by EYRC will define the western edge of the plaza which, in turn, will cover a vast new, two-story underground parking structure. Completion of the project is anticipated for 2019.

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Julie Eakin