Culver City, California
Office, Theater, Cafe, Parking Structure
170,000 square feet
Dolan Daggett, Eric McNevin, Grit Leipert
The Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award, 2003
The project adjoins National Boulevard, a major north-south Los Angeles thoroughfare. The curving north/west elevation of the building is prominently in view for this high speed traffic. The corner of National Boulevard and Hayden Avenue is a prominent automobile gateway to the Hayden Tract, a group of new commercial and performing arts facilities.The large office space and parking requirements, as well as the 45’ height limit dictated the long, low building profile.
The regularity of the design is interrupted by three unique components, two of which directly relate to the perception of the project from the surrounding streets. The “coil” is a three story, 45 foot diameter poured-in-place concrete tube, “re-formed” as a consequence of program, so that it is no longer a literal tube.
The coil is divided into three disconnected segments which still imply a single tube. On the National-Hayden corner the tube lands vertically, emphasizing the importance of that street transition and enclosing stairs balconies, and elevator service. The regular office structure begins where the coil lands and ends where the coil begins again.
The corner is followed by a section facing Hayden Avenue which contains stairs, bridges, balconies, and an open air conference center. This second coil forms a bridge between office buildings, and spans a large pool/water feature below. The third portion of the coil opens to a landscape garden and decks on the south end of the project. The coil interior here holds a large conference and multi-media center with a fixed mezzanine above.
The northwest building wall also breaks with the regularity of the typical office floors. That wall combines a series of third floor bleachers, offering spectacular city views, with intermittent service/utility stacks that extend from the below grade parking area to the office floors above.