With no "rusting relic" like The High Line's trestle to hang the design on, will James Corner Field Operations create a memorable public park for Santa Monica's coastline?
The new Santa Monica park that Field Operations is designing is modest, with only six acres to speak of. Former home of The Rand Corporation's headquarters, is made up of two parcels, one across from City Hall and one overlooking the ocean.
Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne has a look:
"The park sites are two blocks from the beach, completely open to the sun and sky and cooled by breezes coming off the ocean. On the morning Corner and I visited, a tantalizing sliver of blue was visible on the horizon. The parks promise to be crowded from their opening days, given those nearby attractions and the arrival of Metro's Expo Line, which should be rolling into a station at Colorado Boulevard and 4th Street by 2015. And if the city can ever realize a very expensive dream to build a park capping the nearby sunken freeway, the Field Operations design could be a major element in a newly unified Santa Monica."
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This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.