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Sara Johnson, Hanley Wood Media

Project Name


Project Status

Concept Proposal

Year Completed



282,000 sq. feet



  • Li Wen, Peter Barsuk, Melanie McArtor, John Martin, Joe Tarr, Marc Cucco, Daniel Lee, Robert Garlipp, Nambi Gardner, Elizabeth Brink


  • Dangermond Keane Architecture
  • Landscape Architect: Rios Clementi Hale Studios
  • Structural Engineer: Holmes Culley
  • Other: Glumac
  • Civil Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers
  • Other: Page & Turnbull
  • Other: TJP Engineering

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Project Description


The Gensler designed AltaSea project is a campus for innovation situated at City Dock #1 in the Port of Los Angeles. Along the 35 acre-campus, historic buildings and new architecture are woven together via public parks and plazas, and connected to the district’s growing waterfront. The project brings together people to expand science-based understanding of the ocean; incubate and sustain ocean-related businesses; and pioneer new ocean-related education programs. AltaSea inspires its users, visitors, and the creators of the next generation to live a more sustainable life through its research and connection to the ocean.


Built on the Port’s historic City Dock #1 with access to the deep ocean, AltaSea is a net-positive energy use campus. The design features hubs for scientific exploration (Warehouse 57), public education and exhibition spaces (Berth 56), and businesses comprised of new and renovated buildings (Warehouses 58-60) linked by a new network of public spaces. The project will be realized in phases beginning in 2016 with an estimated completion in 2023.

Designed by Gensler, the new Engagement Center is intended to be the design centerpiece of the campus and will introduce the public to AltaSea’s mission. Inspired by the movement of the ocean to land, the building’s form and spaces are designed for visitors and users to experience this synergy through specifically choreographed moments.

Rejuvenation is woven into the design of each part of the overall campus; the Tower’s renewable energy models, the roof top solar fields, and the renovation of the historic structures for the Research Center and Business Center all speak to this purpose of AltaSea.

LA Waterfront Promenade

AltaSea creates a vital link in the chain of public works projects activating the waterfront along San Pedro neighborhoods and the Port of LA. The distinct campus buildings are knit together by public plazas, parks and walkways from east to west and north to south inviting visitors to walk, bike and run through the campus, or stop and explore it more deeply.

Berth 56: Engagement Center

The new Engagement Center building at Berth 56 serves as a gateway to the campus. Its architecture will house public education and exhibition programming, allowing school children and students to explore the sciences of the ocean.

The architecture addresses the Port’s East Channel as a landscape, enabling visitors to experience the juxtaposition of the architecture and the water as they move through the building. The design weaves land and sea while re-energizing the spirit through its framing of the ocean and the horizon beyond.

Warehouse 57: Science Hub

The adaptive reuse of the historic Warehouse 57 provides the AltaSea campus with a state of the art Science Hub for oceanographic and marine biology programs. The building contains over 60,000 sf of classroom and lab space, flanked by an elevated public promenade with overlooking galleries at specific moments along the entirety of the 500’ long Science Hub. The space convenes and supports the world’s best marine scientists as they conduct breakthrough research and discover solutions to environmental problems.

Warehouses 58-60: Research and Business Hub

The Research and Business Hub at AltaSea is housed in 180,000 square feet of space throughout Warehouses 58-60. The space nurtures new and existing businesses that commercialize scientific breakthroughs and emerging technologies to create ocean-related products, services and local jobs. This hub will house AltaSea’s founding “clusters,” or areas of focus, in aquaculture and blue tech.

The Viewing Structure

The Viewing Structure, which is proposed for a future phase of construction, is designed to be a learning Beacon that allows visitors to access an overlook of the entire campus and Port of Los Angeles. The Structure’s technology will study the climate as well as report back on the Energy-Use and Generation of the campus as a whole.
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