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Newport Beach Civic Center and Park
(# 321)
Images Description Credits
Completion 4 / 2013
Square Footage 117,000 square feet
Budget $105 million
Specific Use of Building Civic Center for City of Newport Beach
Project Location United States
The City of Newport Beach charged the design team with creating a forward-looking, iconic new Civic Center and Park, consisting of a City Hall, 450-space parking garage, and addition to the existing library—all set within a new 17-acre park.

The team worked with the City to develop a civic vision for this project. In discussions about what a civic center should be in the 21st century, all agreed the new space should strive for transparency. This was achieved not only in the ability to literally see through the building, but also in the ability of the public to see staff working within. There are no hidden corridors of power here.

All agreed the new Center should be democratic and collaborative. Departments have a ‘front desk’ that connects to other departments via a public walkway. Most exterior glazing is devoted to common uses such as conference rooms and teaming areas. Private offices are glazed and located in the center of the space, ensuring all within have access to light and views.

Sustainability has defined the form of this building. The rhythmic, wave-shaped roofs provide shelter for the two-story City Hall building—their generous overhangs providing sun shading for indoor occupants. Clerestories with operable windows, along with dimmable lighting, create even, north-facing light. Under floor air and operable windows provide views and clean, comfortable air in Newport Beach's benign climate. Together, these passive design strategies provide savings in mechanical and lighting costs.

Site plantings include a mixture of native and drought tolerant species that blend with an existing wetland on site, as well as offer significant savings in water use. These and other features will exceed the City's goal of LEED Silver for this project. As of now, the project is on track to receive LEED Gold.

The council chamber’s ‘sail’ and neighboring transparent community space—the City’s ‘living room’—mark the entrance to the Civic Center. The Civic Green, bounded by the new garage and library addition, serve as the City's 'front lawn'. The library addition provides much needed reading space at this popular facility; it also serves as a second entry from the Civic Green.

The Civic Center is nestled within the new park and serves as a gateway to a series of outdoor program elements, including interpretive trails, children's play areas, a pedestrian bridge, a dog park, and two belvederes that capitalize on the site's commanding view of the Pacific Ocean.

This $105 million project opened in the spring of 2013.

SBD report:

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