Frederick Fisher and Partners Frederick Fisher and Partners

Earth Day: Virtual Tour Introducing the Santa Monica City Hall East

To coincide with Earth Day, FF&P along with The City of Santa Monica, engineering firm Buro Happold and Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company, are participating in a virtual tour today of the new City Hall East to members of the design, civic and cultural community in lieu of the public grand opening originally scheduled.

Brought on by the city to design a building that consolidates all of its municipal departments in a single location, the 50,2000 square foot building situated behind the Historic 1939 Parkinson and Estep-designed City Hall is intended to be a model of ecological resilience and self-sufficiency by producing more energy than it uses and zero waste generation.

This involved surpassing LEED criteria and achieving the Living Building Challenge requirements set by the International Living Future Institute–the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive green building standard. To achieve these standards, we set out to design a building that follows passive solar principles with numerous energy-saving and producing systems, such as a series of photovoltaic arrays totaling nearly 15,000 square feet, the most composting toilets of any municipal building in the United States, and the first civic rainwater recycling system in California to convert rain to potable water on site.

We converted the adjacent land into a comprehensive civic campus that benefits both city workers and the public, while respecting the architectural prominence of the historically landmarked art deco City Hall. The new building’s exterior glass envelope symbolizes Santa Monica’s civic commitment to transparency in serving the public while reflecting the light conditions of the sky as it changes throughout the day. Inside, a variety of open workspaces, meeting, and collaboration areas promote spontaneous interaction, while smaller huddle rooms allow for individual privacy when needed. The courtyard, which connects the new building to the historic City Hall, offers additional work and leisure areas with trees and other flora that generate shade, assist with cooling and insulation, and provide edible herbs and produce for building workers and local shelters.

We are proud to be a part of this environmental initiative that reflects our own commitment to improving lives through architecture–increasing the quality of life for employees working in Santa Monica City Hall, City Hall East, and residents alike. Together we are building a better future for human and environmental health.

Read More

Visit USGBCLA to register for the virtual tour.

Watch the Santa Monica City Services Building film produced by Buro Happold. Credits: Buro Happold: MEP engineer, facades, lighting, sustainability, and living building consultant. Video: Prismedia LLC