A Historic L.A. Pier Will Become an Incubator for Ocean Science
By 2023, the Port of Los Angeles will be home to a state-of-the-art ocean research facility that spans scientific and commercial research. AltaSea, an innovation hub dedicated to finding “ocean-related solutions” to major international challenges like food security, renewable energy, and climate change, is building a 35-acre campus on a historic pier at the Port of Los Angeles.
The Port of Los Angeles is one of the U.S.'s deepest ports (as well as its busiest), making it uniquely suited to host ocean research, and it will eventually be home to dozens of university research projects, sea-focused businesses, and educational programs. The renderings for the site’s design (spotted by Co.Exist), by the international architecture firm Gensler, were released at the end of May, and the $150 million initial phase of construction will begin this year.
During the first phase of construction, Gensler will renovate 180,000 square feet of warehouse space into a hub for researchers and businesses working on ocean-related projects, including remote sensing and ocean exploration, environmental sustainability, and aquaculture. This is scheduled to open in 2017.
Then, a 60,000-square-foot oceanographic and marine biology research facility called the Science Hub will open by 2020 as the home to the Southern California Marine Institute, a consortium made up of 22 universities, colleges, and foundations focused on marine science.
Finally, in 2023, an educational facility focused on STEM careers will open as the main point of entry for the public, with exhibitions and programming for students.
"The ocean is our planet’s last frontier. It is where new solutions lie,” Jenny Krusoe, AltaSea’s executive director, said in a press statement. “AltaSea is creating a new model for collaboration among the public sector, the private sector, institutions of higher education, industry and innovators—and our campus embodies that game-changing concept.”
In support of its world-changing goals, the campus will be powered via renewable energy, including solar roofs, and is designed to generate more energy than it uses.
City Dock 1, the wharf destined to become the site of AltaSea, first opened in 1913, but like other cities, Los Angeles has recently started to rebuild its waterfront into a destination that’s more cultural than industrial. The city has other plans to help revitalize the warehouses and docks along the port, like a new shopping center and a promenade, and a bustling research center will only add to the area’s ability to rebrand itself as a hip new destination.
All images courtesy Gensler