The landscape design of the Santa Monica Public Library reinforces the civic significance of the Library Campus, accommodating a wide range of activities. To maximize the qualities of Santa Monica’s wonderful climate, a series of courtyards weave the interior and exterior spaces together and are fully integrated with the Library. The relationship between the City of Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean is reinforced by an “of the sea” metaphor that served as design inspiration for the team. The paving palette recalls an underwater topography and the planting palette mimics a marine landscape by using dramatic sculptural plantings.
Elements of sustainability have been incorporated throughout the campus, including the use of drought tolerant plant materials, bio-swales at the north parking garden, and rainwater harvesting. Storm water from the surface parking lot, from roof surfaces and from the courtyard areas is collected, filtered and diverted to a cistern system for delayed reuse in the landscape irrigation.