Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure

The design of the 300,000 SF parking structure establishes a strong presence within a cluster of civic buildings that includes the historic City Hall, Courthouse and Public Safety Building. The parking structure provides 882 parking spaces accommodated in six levels above grade and two below grade. A community meeting room on the fifth floor serves as an easily identifiable marker for the entire Civic Center while affording spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the city. A café on the main plaza terrace animates the pedestrian traffic flow. Pre-cast white, ribbed concrete panels are set in a rhythmic, variegated pattern on all façades, capturing and enhancing the rich play of shadows provided by the brilliant sunlight while screening the presence of parked cars. A series of bays made of channeled colored glass breaks down the scale of the structure and are set at varying sizes and angles to bring a light, luminous and ever-changing quality to the building. As they are lit up in the evening, their glow appears as a shimmering curtain.

The parking structure is the first LEED® certified building in the United States of its kind. Photovoltaic panels on the roof, east and west facades provide for all of the building’s energy needs, while the design uses elements such as canopies and the photovoltaic panels to facilitate self-shading to reduce heat islands. Materials with a high recycled content were used, including fly-ash replacement for cement, and recycled-content reinforcing steel and framing.


Project Type


Santa Monica,


  • Moore Ruble Yudell
  • John Edward Linden, Vendor, Channel Glass, Bendheim Wall Systems