Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Garage

Cambridge Architectural

The 900-space garage was designed not only to visually inspire but to meet or exceed many of the USGBC’s LEED guidelines. The structure employs various sustainable design and construction practices, materials and products – including Cambridge’s architectural mesh.

A Cambridge Parkade™ woven metal fabric system acts as a uniquely stylish, durable, and recyclable space-dividing façade which conceals the stairs in the Santa Monica Civic Center parking garage. Matching the building itself, the mesh panels offer cutting-edge appearance and performance as part of the new aesthetic landmark in the city of Santa Monica.

“We have always believed that parking structures, like all other building types, can be environmentally responsible and beautiful at the same time,” says Heather Collins, Director of Marketing for Cambridge Architectural. “We are honored to contribute to the nation’s first LEED-certified parking structure, and one of the nation’s most artistically-inspired buildings of its kind.”

In terms of its hip and alluring design, the Santa Monica Civic Center parking garage used Cambridge’s mesh system to achieve just the right stylistic balance with its other building elements.

“We used a lot of faceted, colored glass panels in the parking structure, and Cambridge’s stainless steel mesh complements these very well to create a unique overall design,” says James Mary O’Connor, Principal of Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners, the architect of the project. “Mesh is a striking material from any distance, and we find that the closer you get to it, the more refined it looks.”

In addition to seeking out artistically-inspired materials, the Santa Monica Civic Center parking garage project team needed extremely durable building components that could withstand the surrounding elements. Architectural mesh proved to be a perfect fit for a structure situated along a freeway, and right next to the ocean.

“The mesh always looks good, and has required minimal maintenance,” says O’Connor. “It is unaffected by the tough environment around it, and has kept its original straight, continuous architectural plane.”

Cambridge is committed to assisting the design and construction team from initial concept to final installation on each and every project. For the Santa Monica Civic Center parking garage project, Cambridge was hands-on at every phase.

“Cambridge was on the job site with us, not only helping with the actual installation but also determining the very best way to make the mesh work on the structure,” says Steve Siciliani, Project Executive for Woodbridge Glass, the general contractor and installer on the project.

The Parkade system was fabricated with mesh in Cambridge’s Balance pattern, which features large-scaled, flexible open weaves that shade and screen structures including facades, parking garages and pavilions.

Cambridge’s J-hook tension attachment hardware was used to install the Balance product. This is a simple attachment of flexible metal fabric to structural supports via J-hooks. The clearly articulated connection requires a rod that is threaded through the metal at top and bottom edges. The J-hook hardware is appropriate for lengths of metal mesh held in tension up to 15-20 feet.

Construction on the Santa Monica Civic Center parking garage was completed in January 2008. The project team consists of architect Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners, Santa Monica, CA and contractor/installer Woodbridge Glass, Tustin, CA.

The impressive versatility of architectural mesh made it a perfect building element for the Santa Monica Civic Center parking garage. Its recyclable nature, along with its unique aesthetic and unmatched durability made it a fitting material for welcoming guests to the Civic Center.

“We used Cambridge’s mesh at the entrance of the structure in order to create and reinforce a gateway identity to the Civic Center,” says James Mary O’Connor. “It defines architectural space, but doesn’t block light -- instead, it captures light and acts as a translucent veil for the building.”

Cambridge Architectural is an active member of the USGBC, and helps architects take maximum advantage of LEED credit through the many categories in which architectural mesh systems apply. Most notably, mesh can contribute to as many as four LEED points for optimized energy performance, and can help in acquiring additional points for incorporating recycled content and introducing daylight and views into the regularly occupied areas of a building.

About Cambridge Architectural

Cambridge Architectural is a full-service provider of architectural metal mesh systems for both interior and exterior building applications. For more information, visit

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