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Bergamot Station Arts Center
Santa Monica, CA


Mark Rios
Julie Smith-Clementi
Bob Hale
Mark Motonaga
Sebastian Salvadó
Andy Lantz
Russell Dykann
Asaf Dali
Bob Frederick
Mike Boucher
Fangfang Ouyang
Clancy Pearson
Ryan Vasquez


The extension of rail service to Santa Monica created an opportunity to re-imagine Bergamot Station, a former freight yard that was transformed into an Arts Center in the 1990s. Our design honors the entirety of the site's history by creating a cohesive array of new warehouse buildings and key open spaces around the existing structures to establish an international platform for art and culture.

Our concept takes inspiration from traditional train stations, evoking the drama of arriving at a cultural destination. To welcome passengers from the Expo line platform, we oriented construction on a diagonal to make way for a grand entry reminiscent of the great train stations of centuries past. This Garden Concourse creates a dramatic trellis-covered central corridor whose airy aesthetic provides a meeting ground for visitors and vendors. Several other access points flow into the Garden Concourse, including Bergamot
Commons, a tree-lined plaza opposite a mid-block crosswalk at Olympic Blvd, where most pedestrians enter the site; and a new 200-seat Amphitheater Plaza, an outdoor performance space for the community.

Our plan retains the site's industrial vernacular, while dramatically increasing the available space for existing arts organizations and new types of tenants. Most buildings remain consistent with the complex's low-slung nature, providing ground floor entries off the new public spaces. The only exceptions are a new hotel and museum, which emerge from the low roofline like the wings of a bird taking flight. Both buildings offer amenities unprecedented on this site: roof decks with views of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific.

Solar panels, storm-water collection, and use of recycled building materials would make this project a candidate for LEED Gold designation.