Frank Gehry revises plans for two-acre oceanfront complex in Santa Monica

Frank Gehry has revised his design for a two-acre mixed-use leisure development in Santa Monica, following the adoption of a new Downtown Community Plan by the Californian city’s council.

The Ocean Avenue Project at 101 Santa Monica Boulevard was first announced by property firms M David Paul Associates and the Worthe Real Estate Group in 2013, after five years spent developing the scheme with Gehry’s practice.

Now, in response to feedback from the community and new downtown regulations, Gehry has reduced the height and floor area ratio of his design, as well as reducing the planned hotel programme and removing condominiums altogether.

Elements that remain include a 40,000sq ft (3,700sq m) local museum, 79 for-rent residential apartments, 24,700sq ft (2,300sq m) of retail, a 3,500sq ft (325sq m) public observation deck on top of the hotel building, and approximately 25 per cent open space at the ground level.

The revised design will see a slender and typically sculptural Gehry tower overlooking Santa Monica’s oceanfront. The building street fronts will be modulated to enhance activity by allowing for a variety of experiences at the sidewalk. Landscaped courtyards and paseos will be integrated throughout the project, hosting public events and art exhibitions.

Two landmarked early 20th century buildings on the site will be preserved and adaptively reused as part of the museum component.

In a statement, the developers said: “The project will bring a mix of uses to an underutilised site, refresh historic landmarks, contribute to our cultural amenities, provide much-needed market, family and affordable housing, and create new lodging and entertainment for residents and visitors alike.

“The design will give this location a prominent place in our City’s history – celebrating the past, present and future.

A community meeting will take place on Thursday (11 January) for residents to preview the new-look scheme, ask questions and provide further feedback.

Gehry has previously declared himself “very excited” to be working in Santa Monica, adding: “It’s been 30 years since I’ve had the opportunity to design an impactful project in my hometown of over 40 years.”

Frank Gehry  Santa Monica  architecture  design  Ocean Avenue Project  M David Paul Associates  Worthe Real Estate Group 
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