Building on a Legacy

October 2014 marks the 10-year anniversary of RAND’s move to its newly built headquarters campus at 1776 Main Street in Santa Monica, California. Since the mid-1950s, RAND had been located in offices directly north of the new property; for a small time in 2005, the new building’s distinctive arc shape (Is it an eye? Is it a fish?!) appeared alongside the waffle-like configuration of the old one near the I-10 freeway.

Aerial view of RAND: Old and New

RAND conceived of a new headquarters in the early 1990s to not only accommodate a growing workforce but also support and sustain 21st-century computing and communications technologies. The architects, DMJM Design, came up with the two arcs, which created in the center usable and protected outdoor courtyard spaces and gave individual offices access to natural light and air. And by joining the arcs at the center with bridges, they achieved a Figure 8 pattern—free of dead ends and which facilitated better employee interaction through daily movement and use. In 2006, RAND was awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the environmentally responsible design of the headquarters campus, along with the Los Angeles Architectural Award for corporate headquarters design.

Tongva Park

And the parcel of land that housed the old RAND building has since become home to mixed use developments and Tongva Park. This spectacular public space was designed by James Corner Field Operations, an urban design and landscape architecture firm that recently designed the award-winning High Line park, built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. If you haven’t been to Santa Monica since Tongva Park opened in late 2013, do come and visit. Contact us at alumni@rand.org and we’ll arrange an art tour of the headquarters campus and a walk over to the park.