Mixed-use development draws inspiration from physical and historic connections
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"8000","speed":"1000","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"8000","speed":"1000","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)

As cities consider the future of their streets in light of pandemic-inspired innovations and federal infrastructure investment, placemaking solutions can help communities achieve more value from public rights-of-way.

In Culver City, California, landscape design born of public and private sector collaboration has resulted in a lively and accessible outdoor space, where creative paving enables streets to double as public plazas and terraced performance space.

The Steps are framed on one side by Culver Studios (where productions like “Gone with the Wind” and “Arrested Development” were filmed), and on the other by the Culver Hotel (once frequented by John Wayne and Charlie Chaplin). Here, SWA’s scheme of sculpted, stepped terraces for a new private development creates a memorable place for views, shade, respite, and interaction. This distinctive ambience is extended into the public realm with an adjoining plaza at street level, resulting in a continuous, central open space that unifies the surrounding buildings for a unique and programmed civic setting.

This spectacular project gives new meaning to Harry Culver’s renowned axiom, “All roads lead to Culver City.” The forging of this new outdoor commons revitalizes the Culver City’s “maker tradition”: rather than merely celebrating the past, the plaza provides a vital setting for today’s transit, culture, and award-winning restaurants.
In June 2018, The Culver Steps was awarded the Los Angeles Business Council’s Under Construction Award, an honor that was 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

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...

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...

Zobon City Villas

SWA provided landscape architectural services for this residential condominium site in Shanghai. The open space layout is comprised of three gardens, each creating a unique environment for the tenants. The Huangpu Abstraction garden is the public face of the project and is expressed with a 2.5m tall stacked glass fountain. The Sky Garden is the center piece of...

Paveletskaya Plaza

Situated along Moscow’s Ring Road and adjacent to the legendary Paveletsky Station transportation hub, the park at Paveletskaya Plaza will both cover and reveal the new bustling underground retail facility below while also serving as a landmark destination for residents and visitors alike.

The extraordinary retail and architectural vision for Paveletska...

Paveletskaya Plaza

Situated along Moscow’s Ring Road and adjacent to the legendary Paveletsky Station transportation hub, the park at Paveletskaya Plaza will both cover and reveal the new bustling underground retail facility below while also serving as a landmark destination for residents and visitors alike.

The extraordinary retail and architectural vision for Paveletska...

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...

Zobon City Villas

SWA provided landscape architectural services for this residential condominium site in Shanghai. The open space layout is comprised of three gardens, each creating a unique environment for the tenants. The Huangpu Abstraction garden is the public face of the project and is expressed with a 2.5m tall stacked glass fountain. The Sky Garden is the center piece of...

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...