Project Summary

When the City of Beverly Hills embarked on reimagining Wilshire and La Cienega Boulevards, they recognized the need to prioritize a human-centered approach and turned to Toole Design for help. Toole Design worked collaboratively with the City, and project partner RIOS, to develop a streetscape plan and design standards that balance modal considerations and placemaking.

Wilshire and La Cienega Boulevards intersect at the location of a future Metro Purple Line (or “D” Line) station. The project was conceived to ensure that future transit riders emerge from the new subway stations to a cohesive, well-designed public realm. The street design standards developed for this project have been adopted as a City-wide standard.

Design Approach

The design concepts feature strategies that stitch together a varied public realm experience into one that is cohesive and puts people first. The desire to prioritize pedestrian experience, yet also ensure the corridor serves a regional function and accommodate future transit needs, required creativity and well-facilitated discussions with a broad range of stakeholders and the public through a two-phased charrette process.

The end result is a flexible approach where the team developed a standard hardscape, furnishing, and landscape palette to ensure a cohesive feel along the corridor, but also established “character zones” where intensity of furnishings or planted elements may change based on the land use context. We also developed a series of “quick wins” that could incorporate both artistic elements and address safety concerns immediately. These included recommendations for new intersection geometry, tabled intersections, closure of slip lanes, and integration of larger public plazas, or activated spaces where feasible.

The project also involves the planning and conceptual design for a future mobility hub at the intersection of Wilshire and La Cienega Boulevards, where one of the future rail stations will be located. This analysis and design included site programming, architectural massing, and a first-/last-mile study. Toole Design coordinated a robust stakeholder engagement process that taps into existing arts and cultural institutions in a meaningful way.

With the Wilshire and La Cienega station scheduled for completion in 2025, the project represents a significant step towards creating a more sustainable, accessible, and people-centric urban environment.

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