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Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Newport Beach Civic Center and Park, Newport Beach, California

Using the central organizing principles of governmental transparency, democracy, clarity and sustainability, BCJ worked with the City to develop a new Civic Center, creating what Council Member Ed Selich hailed as a ‘new civic vision’ for the City. A new city hall, library addition and new garage bound a new public outdoor space, the city’s ‘civic green.' This civic core opens onto a new 17-acre park that includes a restored wetland.

  • Nic Lehoux

Photo:

The Nature of Place

The Civic Center was designed to be understood at the scale and speed of the car, while providing a satisfying sense of place for users who come to the city hall, library, and park. The project is inspired by its Southern California beachside location, reflected in the light and airy palette, the many subtle nautical references, and the numerous outdoor spaces around the city hall and library made possible by the almost-always sunny, pleasant climate. The site features a series of native and drought tolerant landscape settings encompassing a rehabilitated wetland, children’s and picnic areas, a new dog park, and two belvederes with commanding views of the Pacific Ocean. The two site parcels are traversed by a web of walking trails and connected with a new pedestrian bridge.

  • David Wakely
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux

Photo:

The Nature of People

All staff, whether in an enclosed office or at a workstation, enjoy daylight and views. The long, narrow building allows for literal and figurative transparency. Not only can one see through the building at any point, but all staff are visible, as well. Reception areas, conference rooms, teaming areas, and other common areas ring the perimeter of the city hall, allowing all to enjoy the best light and views. Underfloor air, operable windows, automated clerestory windows, and daylight harvesting, in addition to being energy efficient, provide great spaces for people to work.

In the new city hall, the relationship of the staff and users has changed with the staff coming to the user rather the user having to go looking for the staff. At the permit center, those seeking review can sit side-by-side with staff, rather than stand opposite at a counter.

  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux

Photo:

The Nature of Materials

A light and elegant steel frame reflects the city hall’s sunny, ocean-side location. Stone cladding provides civic gravity at the important public spaces of the council chamber and the community room. Over head, undulating wood ceilings evoke the maritime location and cast a warm glow on the spaces below. Color is used at key points, with bright yellow marking areas of circulation, and varying shades of green and blue providing a calm work environment in the city hall, as well as quiet places of study in the library addition.

  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • David Wakely
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux

Photo:

  • Awards/Honors
  • 2016
    Special Mention, Architecture + Engineering, Architizer A+ Awards
  • 2015
    Citation Award, AIA Pennsylvania, Architectural Excellence Design Awards

    Architectural Engineering Project of the Year, American Society of Civil Engineers, Orange County, California Branch

    Sustainable Engineering Project of the Year, American Society of Civil Engineers, Orange County, California Branch
  • 2014
    National Honor Award for Interiors, The American Institute of Architects

    Green GOOD DESIGN Award, The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design

    Orange County Section Award for Outstanding Urban Design, American Planning Association

    1st Place, Commercial Buildings – New Category, Golden Gate ASHRAE Technology Awards

    Award of Excellence, New Construction Category, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California

    IDEAS National Honor Award, American Institute of Steel Construction, IDEAS Award Program
  • 2013
    Project of the Year, American Public Works Association, Southern California Chapter

    Members Choice Award, AIA Orange County

    Honor Award for Design, AIA Orange County

Related Work The Web of Circumstance

  • The Nature of Place
  • The Nature of People
  • The Nature of Materials