Culver Steps

Culver Steps

Mixed-use development draws inspiration from physical and historic connections
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"3000","speed":"300","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}

DETAILS

LocationCulver City, California
ClientHackman Capital Partners & The City of Culver City
Size98,000 sf (site); 55,000 sf (landscape)

Founder Harry Culver’s renowned axiom, “All roads lead to Culver City,” acquires new meaning with a spectacular addition to ongoing downtown revitalization. The Culver Steps is a public/private collaboration between The City of Culver City and Hackman Capital Partners devised to highlight the city’s creative “maker tradition,” from its involvement in the filmmaking industry to feats of engineering like the “Spruce Goose. They are framed on one side by Culver Studios, (famed for productions like Gone with the Wind and Arrested Development) and on the other by the Culver Hotel (once frequented by John Wayne and Charlie Chaplin). Not just a celebration of the past, the plaza is centered on today’s award-winning restaurants, transit, and culture.

Inspired by the adjacent foothills of the sierras, the open space design brings nature into the heart of Culver City, integrating stepped terraces, hilly topography, and tree cover. Canted walls and custom-designed planters flank the steps’ nearly 50-foot-wide span, with integrated plantings between the ground plane and second level. The grand architectural staircase that is the project’s centerpiece invites artists, writers, filmmakers, and restaurateurs to gather and share ideas; the renewed connection to nature serves as a placemaking foundation, and is paired with identity and activation strategies to engage the community in the new plaza’s success.

In June 2018, The Culver Steps was awarded the Los Angeles Business Council’s Under Construction Award, followed in 2019 by a Best of Design Award from The Architect’s Newspaper. This signature civic destination has already attracted high-profile tenants including Amazon Studios and promises to promote diversity and interaction for locals and visitors while establishing a strong identity for Culver City’s downtown.

Related Projects

Xiqu Opera Centre

After it was decided to locate the main concert venue on the building’s top floor to create a covered indoor/outdoor public realm, SWA designed the entire ground level of this venue for traditional Cantonese opera, including a dramatic, covered open-air landscape space. There, an urban stage facilitates movement, provides a gathering space, and enhances ...

Williams Square

People love Williams Square. For years, the wild mustangs have galloped across the covers of phone books, Hertz rental car schedules and tourist brochures. Families make holiday pilgrimages to see and touch the world’s largest equestrian statues in a granite plaza framed by the cold, clean lines of modern office buildings. There is nothing else there – no farm...

Nanchang Greenland Jiangxi Gaoxin

This urban open space within Nanchang’s new city center provides clear definition of building entries and functions while supporting outdoor gathering areas and circulation routes to enhance visibility, access, and full use of the project’s mixed-use program elements. The design of outdoor spaces and rooftops reflects the strong geometry of the signature tower...

San Jacinto Plaza

SWA’s redesign of San Jacinto Plaza, a historic gathering place in El Paso’s downtown business district provides a state-of-the-art urban open space, while protecting and celebrating the history and culture of the site. The project was the result of an intensive community process involving input from a wide range of constituents. Active programming, environmen...

Xiqu Opera Centre

After it was decided to locate the main concert venue on the building’s top floor to create a covered indoor/outdoor public realm, SWA designed the entire ground level of this venue for traditional Cantonese opera, including a dramatic, covered open-air landscape space. There, an urban stage facilitates movement, provides a gathering space, and enhances ...

Gantry Plaza State Park

Once a working waterfront teeming with barges, tugboats, and rail cars, the Hunter’s Point shoreline slowly succumbed to the realities of the Post-Industrial Age and this spectacular site was left to deteriorate. Thomas Balsley Associates, together with Weintraub di Domenico, envisioned Gantry Plaza State Park as a place that celebrates its past, future, skyli...

San Jacinto Plaza

SWA’s redesign of San Jacinto Plaza, a historic gathering place in El Paso’s downtown business district provides a state-of-the-art urban open space, while protecting and celebrating the history and culture of the site. The project was the result of an intensive community process involving input from a wide range of constituents. Active programming, environmen...

Williams Square

People love Williams Square. For years, the wild mustangs have galloped across the covers of phone books, Hertz rental car schedules and tourist brochures. Families make holiday pilgrimages to see and touch the world’s largest equestrian statues in a granite plaza framed by the cold, clean lines of modern office buildings. There is nothing else there – no farm...

2019-12-06T19:32:03+00:00