Yesterday Santa Monica radio station KCRW broke ground on its new hub, which will bring it out of a basement at Santa Monica College and into the architectural spotlight. The 35,000 square foot building, designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, will be located on the college’s future Entertainment and Technology Campus, in the city’s creative business district, along the Expo line. Wilkinson won the commission back in 2008, but the bold, colorful design has developed significantly since then.
KCRW, which started out three decades ago, has grown from 14 to 110 employees, so it was definitely time to move out of their cramped underground offices. The new facilities, with plentiful access to natural light, will offer high tech production facilities, community gathering spaces, and top tier office spaces, as well as an 18,000 square foot courtyard and outdoor stage and a 180-seat auditorium. Radio performances will be open to the public, making the station even more of a community and musical center. KCRW has so far raised $33 million of the total $48 million for the new campus. Construction is expected to be done by the end of 2015, with the station moving in by 2016. Santa Monica College’s new entertainment and technology campus will also include new teaching facilities, TV and production studios, and a new parking garage.