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SWA Group：Completed just prior to the 2020 pandemic “pause,” Culver Steps and Main Plaza is a welcoming and pedestrian-friendly development in a metropolitan area renowned for its embrace of automobiles.
The 55,000-square-foot public plaza reasserts the pedestrian experience, replacing what was once a surface parking lot with a dynamic, programmable environment that unites shops, restaurants, and office space with a nearby metro station. Here, residents and visitors alike can enjoy a variety of experiences in a year-round outdoor space easily accessible by foot, bike, or public transit.
▽开放的公共广场 Open public square
城市中心充满活力的新地标的起源 Genesis of This Vibrant New Destination in Downtown Culver City
This transformative open space is the result of a forward-looking public-private partnership. Culver City’s civic leaders sought to revitalize the downtown district, which had at its center a large surface parking lot: Parcel B.
▽对于那些平日里在综合办公区工作的人来说，卡尔弗台阶和主广场很容易通过地铁和公交车连接到达。For those who work in the mixed-use office space during the week, Culver Steps and Main Plaza is easily accessible by metro and bus connections.
▽场地区位与原状 Site location and historical condition.
To catalyze activity and generate more revenue, the city entered into a partnership with a local developer who proposed an innovative mixed-use building that would enable large corporate tenants, including a music streaming company, to coexist synergistically with small local ice cream and coffee shops. Civic leaders were also committed to making downtown a less car-centric environment, focusing instead on access on foot or by bicycle.
▽创建一个具有高连接性和带有多种活动的空间，形成了银幕区的新心。A connected, well-programmed space reinvigorates the “Heart of “Screenland.”
除了勾勒出项目的雏形、预计开发的规模和潜在的租户之外，政府还关注了一个简单的问题：“如何让人们在这个市民中心有更多互动?” 卡尔弗城在历史上被称为“银幕之心”，老好莱坞电影公司最初在这里扎根，并制作了《乱世佳人》等标志性电影。这里仍保存了一个充满活力的艺术社区，吸引着游客，并成为流行的 “创客 “中心。 社区参与过程也表明，这里需要一个灵活和并能举办多种活动的聚会空间。
Once the development’s shape, size, and tenant potential were determined, the City focused on how it could energize the surrounding environment, asking ”What could best engage people in a civic center?” Historically known as the “Heart of Screenland,” Culver City is where Hollywood studios first took root and produced iconic films like “Gone with the Wind.” Culver City still has a vibrant arts community that attracts visitors and has become popular as a hub for artists and artisans of all kinds – what has become known as a “maker culture.” The public engagement process revealed the need for a gathering space that was highly flexible and programmable.
▽场地分析 Analysis site
The city and design team worked with the local business improvement district, residents, and other stakeholders to help celebrate and encourage “maker culture.”
▽为了促进步行和骑车的便利性，该项目提供了充足的步行、探索和停留的空间–这个广场可以满足当地居民和利益相关者的日常需求。To promote walkability and bike-ability, the project provides ample space to explore and linger – a plaza that serves the everyday needs of local residents and stakeholders.
填补”银幕之心”的空白 Filling a Void in “Screenland”
In envisioning what form this open space might take, designers considered the site’s users and took cues from the surrounding terrain. On a clear night, there are spectacular views of the mountain ranges that rise above and encircle the Los Angeles basin. The project takes advantage of local viewsheds towards the Southern California peaks that surround the site, including the foothills of the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains, as well as Baldwin Hills (directly adjacent to the city).
These geological features were the design inspiration for place-making. The new development’s architecture and landscape were envisioned as a singular terrain—a seamless, multi-level plaza experience.
Public and private space coalesce alongside the architecture and literally step up from the ground level with an amphitheater-like grand staircase—giving rise to the development’s identity as the “Culver Steps.” The plaza extends out from the building, integrating street level amenities that are accessible from all street frontages and welcoming to all visitors and passers-by.
▽卡夫尔阶梯式剧场向洛杉矶盆地的宏伟自然景观致敬，这个阶梯已成为城市广场最具辨识度的设计元素之一。The stepped amphitheater now known as “Culver Steps” echoes the surrounding terrain and has become one of the most recognizable designed elements of the urban plaza.
▽设计团队与混凝土承包商一起完成混凝土浇筑的广场外围，并以3D建模技术建立广场模型。The steps feature an innovative, cast-in-place concrete technology, created with advanced 3D modeling that enabled the design team to coordinate closely with both the concrete manufacturer and the general contractor.
▽阶梯的形状灵感来源于抽象化的南加州常见的山脉，包括其不规则的形状和众多山峰。Designers intended to pay homage to the area’s natural features, so the profile of Culver Steps offers an abstract interpretation of the Southern California mountain ranges’ irregular forms and multiple peaks.
▽设计团队与混凝土承包商一起完成混凝土浇筑的广场外围，并以3D建模技术建立广场模型。整个设计过程重在沟通、协调和实物模型，最终使广场设计达到一个城市公共广场标志性特征的水平。卡尔弗步行广场的大部分区域是座位和休息区，包括公共野餐桌和可移动家具来促进城市环境中的人际关系。The design team pushed the envelope for cast-in-place concrete, working in tandem with the manufacturer and contractor to digitally model the plaza in 3D. The success of the design process emphasized the importance of communication, coordination, mock-ups required to realize an iconic feature in a public urban plaza. The Culver Steps and Main Plaza’s numerous areas for seating and rest, including its public picnic tables and movable furniture, promotes human connection in an urban environment.
The Main Plaza stretches through the remainder of the site, continuing the distinctive paving patterns of the steps to unite adjacent landmarks and destinations in downtown Culver City. These include the historic Culver Studios, the Culver Hotel and Kirk Douglas Theatre, the Actors Gang Theatre, and Arclight Cinemas.
激活多功能的公共空间 Activating a Multi-Functional Public Space
The Culver Steps and Main Plaza reflect civic leaders’ vision for a livable urban neighborhood. The plaza and open space are designed to be a welcoming platform where commercial tenants draw in day users, and special programming is provided by the local public agency to activate the space and draw crowds during later hours. To emphasize livability, walkability and bike-ability, the City also instituted green streets techniques and bike lanes surrounding the project site.
▽路面设计使用灰色线性铺路石混合人工草皮营造出微妙的颜色纹路。为了遵守ADA安全指南并保持防火通道，人造草皮条被压实，使步行体验更加舒适。这种模式的铺装和人工草皮条激发了许多年轻游客的兴趣，他们可以在这个开放的水平广场上探索不同的路径。The paving design creates subtle ripples of color, using multi-toned grey linear pavers intermixed with synthetic turf. In order to honor ADA safety guidelines and to maintain a fire lane, the synthetic turf strips also soften the walking experience to minimize compaction. The patterned paving and synthetic turf strips have inspired many young visitors to playfully explore the plaza, discovering different pathways on this otherwise open, level plaza.
Cultural performances are scheduled in the Main Plaza as well as on the Culver Steps, and the new development serves the greater community as a new gathering place. As a platform for special events and seasonal programming, the Plaza can transform into a theatre for music and dance, or a fully functional town stage.
This mixed-use development was designed to be open and welcoming to the community from all sides, seeking to create a human-scaled public destination at its core. Today, it functions as a community dining room for Culver City’s many restaurants, providing ample outdoor seating where families and visitors can sit together in the fresh air and enjoy a free, safe sense of connection with one another.
▽城市广场的照明是决定广场夜晚活跃度的一个重要影响因素。因此，广场的地平线，视平线及顶部位置均安装了灯。地面的线性地灯照亮了小路，行人可以轻松地在广场中穿行。像星星一样嵌在台阶和座位表面的灯，在人们看向台阶时不会觉得刺眼。带有戈波透镜图案的顶灯显示出另一种感觉，同时灯光也会随季节变换。Lighting is an important consideration for activating an urban plaza during the evening. Here, the lighting design illuminates the space at the ground level, eye level, and overhead. Pathway illumination enables pedestrians to easily navigate the space. Lights on steps’ rising faces, and complementary seating, are arranged in a constellation-like manner, to draw visitors’ eye up the steps without being overpowering or blinding. Overhead lights with gobo lens patterns introduce yet another texture that animates the space, with the added benefit of being easy to update seasonally.
The private/public partnership model allows the City to take charge of maintenance and operations as well as to provide an active program for the outdoor plaza. Dance programs, farmers markets, summer jazz festivals, and cultural events such as a Christmas Tree Lighting are among the seasonal attractions offered at The Culver Steps and Main Plaza. Each program draws inspiration from the city’s “maker culture,” fostering the ongoing growth and vitality of movie studios, restaurants, theatres, and the arts.
项目名称：Culver Steps and Main Plaza
项目面积：98,000 ft2 (场地); 55,000 ft2 (景观)
项目地点：Culver City, California
设计团队：Ying-yu Hung, Roman Chiu, Jeremy Klemic
客户：Hackman Capital & City of Culver City
摄影师：SWA Group – Bill Tathum, Jonnu Singleton
Project name: Culver Steps and Main Plaza
Completion year: 2020
Project area: 98,000 ft2 (site); 55,000 ft2 (landscape)
Project Location: Culver City, California
Design firm: SWA Group
Company website: www.swagroup.com
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead Designer: Gerdo Aquino
Design Team: Ying-yu Hung, Roman Chiu, Jeremy Klemic
Client: Hackman Capital & City of Culver City
Architectural design: Ehrlich Architects
Photographer: SWA Group – Bill Tathum, Jonnu Singleton
更多 Read more about: SWA Group