Santa Monica Boulevard Transit Parkway Wall

Client:  City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Engineering, Architectural Division
Project Location: West Los Angeles CA
WINNER:  Citation Award – Westside Prize Awards, 2007

The Santa Monica Boulevard Transit Parkway Project reconstructed and reconfigured 2.5 miles of Santa Monica Boulevard between I-405 and the Beverly Hills city limit, in an effort to revitalize the busy corridor.  The project requited a retaining wall to accommodate the grade change of Little Santa Monica Boulevard, which sits at a higher elevation that Santa Monica Boulevard. The project was an opportunity to provide the needed structural element and create an interesting urban marker within the city.

The Parkway Wall is composed of size independent freestanding walls with varied elevations within an extremely narrow strip.  The walls resemble earth formations similar to to a mountain range.  The highest wall elevations were designed at points where streets terminate at Little Santa Monica Boulevard.  The walls include pedestrian ramps and stair walkways through to perimeter residential streets on either side of the wall formation, and also a bus stop.  The texture of the walls is evocative of layered striations exposed after a geological event.  Over time, earthen berms, lighting and plantings will be integrated as part of the overall solution to the grade change.