El Segundo, California

A corporate campus is reborn

This corporate campus in El Segundo, California was revitalized by replacing a large unused lawn area in front of three office towers with a multi-use garden and courtyard. While screening unwanted views of a busy roadway, the design offers a flexible, inviting, invigorating multi-use space.

The project is distinctive for a series of perforated metal surfaces that act as a kind of fifth façade, contrasting against the towers’ rectilinear geometry. Used in overhead canopies and a boldly distinctive wall at the entrance, the perforated panels cut organic, fractal-like shadow patterns across the ground by day, and when illuminated at night the perforations appear almost like clusters of fireflies.

The space is crisscrossed with paved walkways distinctive for their linear paving patterns, almost like piano keys, yet the setting is softened and further shaded by a grove of strawberry and oak trees. This leads visitors into a mix of gardens, alcoves and decks that provide a variety of distinct spaces for dining, relaxing, playing, and working. There are intimate seating areas for small gatherings and large communal fire pits, and a large, shaded structure with hanging chairs, as well as outdoor office pods, a dining deck, a food kiosk, an amphitheater, and a play court. This is a place for holding meetings, social events, or to enjoy a moment of solitude.

This company’s offices often remain active into the evening, so lighting design was crucial, to provide inviting spaces no matter the time. The design also uses materials to tie with an adjacent campus owned by the same client. Sustainability was woven into the design from the beginning and helped inspire a focus on plants requiring little to no irrigation, while also providing natural shading and light color materials to reduce the heat-island effect.

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