Pictorial> Crews taking down Santa Monica’s California Incline for replacement project

(Elizabeth Daniels)

(Elizabeth Daniels)

On April 20, construction workers began demolishing Santa Monica‘s California Incline, a longtime connector between the Pacific Coast Highway and the city’s overlooking bluffs.

Continue reading after the jump.

Amid changing development landscape and high rents, Santa Monica Museum of Art begins search for a new home

Art, News, West
Thursday, April 23, 2015
(Santa Monica Museum of Art)

(Santa Monica Museum of Art)

Edward Cella Art and Architecture is not the only Los Angeles art institution leaving its longtime location soon. AN has learned from the Los Angeles Times that the Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMOA) is closing its doors at Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station early next month.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Expo Line’s First Riders? Unexpected patrons swarm Santa Monica

Eavesdroplet, Transportation, West
Monday, January 5, 2015
Metro Expo Line Phase 2 construction along Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica. (Metro Library and Archive / Flickr)

Metro Expo Line Phase 2 construction along Colorado Ave, Santa Monica. (Metro Library and Archive / Flickr)

There’s been a lot of sunny news revolving around the incoming Expo Line in Santa Monica, which is scheduled to open sometime in 2016. But with all the feverish construction, it appears some unwelcome guests are coming out of the shadows (or actually, the ground). Several businesses around the construction—including those of architects—are reporting increased numbers of cockroaches making their way into their offices. Some have even called it an infestation. Who knew mass transit would attract such a wide ridership?

Santa Monica Radio Station KCRW Breaks Ground on New Headquarters by Clive Wilkinson Architects

Architecture, News, West
Thursday, June 12, 2014

KCRW’s new campus (KCRW/ Clive Wilkinson Architects)

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.

Continue reading after the jump.

OMA Moving Ahead on Major Mixed-Use Project in Santa Monica After All


The Plaza at Santa Monica (OMA)

After being sent back to the drawing board last fall, OMA’s mixed use Plaza at Santa Monica appears to be moving ahead once again. Located on a prime piece of Santa Monica–owned real estate on Arizona Avenue between 4th and 5th streets, the development—part of a glut of new mixed-use projects in the city—will be OMA’s first ever large scale project in Southern California. They are partnering with local firm Van Tilberg, Banvard & Soderbergh (VTBS).

Continue reading after the jump.

Shortlist Specials: West Coast Projects Name Names

Development, Eavesdroplet, West
Friday, March 28, 2014
The Herald Examiner Building in Los Angeles. (Atomic Hot Links / Flickr)

The Herald Examiner Building in Los Angeles. (Atomic Hot Links / Flickr)

As the economy continues to roll we’re again awash in shortlists and competition wins. The Santa Monica City Services Building has a shortlist that includes SOM and Frederick Fisher. Teams shortlisted for the Herald Examiner Building include Christof Jantzen and Brenda Levin. LA’s Wildwood School shortlist includes Gensler, Koning Eizenberg, and one unknown team. The UC San Diego Biological Building has gone to CO Architects (recent winners of the AIACC Firm of the Year award). EHDD has won the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, and Harley Ellis Devereaux has won the Long Beach Belmont Plaza Pool.

Wealthy Neighborhood Coalition Demands Halt in Santa Monica Development Projects

Friday, November 8, 2013
(Courtesy HKS)

OMA’s Proposed Expansion of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel is One Project Causing Debate in Santa Monica. (Courtesy HKS)

Just west of Los Angeles, a relaxed beach town on the California coast has recently received some major architecture news headlines. In 2013, some of the biggest firms in the country, from OMA to Gehry Partners, have set their sights on development projects in Santa Monica, planning to raise the skyline and increase the architectural density of the city.

Not everyone is happy about this attention, though. This week, Curbed LA reports that the Wilmont Neighborhood Coalition, a group of Santa Monica residents from the high profile neighborhood from Wilshire Boulevard to Montana Avenue, have called for a moratorium on all development plans in the city. With a unanimous vote at their annual meeting, the group pleaded with the City Council to stop architectural projects in Santa Monica until the solidification of a zoning ordinance next year.

Continue Reading After the Jump.

Saturday> Unfrozen Music Concert Pairs LA Architects and Music

Art, On View, West
Thursday, October 24, 2013


Unfrozen Music
Santa Monica Main Library
Saturday, October 26th, 2013
Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium
601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA

It’s that time of year again: time for local architects to put down their laptops and pick up their musical instruments. This Saturday, October 26, Shimahara Illustration will hold its fifth annual Unfrozen Music concert at the Santa Monica Main Library. The concert program includes six short sets performed by Los Angeles architects. AN‘s West Coast Editor, Sam Lubell, will MC the event.

More information after the jump.

Video> AN Tours James Corner Field Operations’ Wildly Popular Tongva Park in Santa Monica

City Terrain, West
Monday, October 21, 2013

Santa Monica’s Tongva Park, which had its soft opening last month, officially opened this past weekend. Already, the undulating, grassy expanse, located west of Santa Monica City Hall, has become a huge hit in the community. AN reporter James Brasuell reported on the park previously and has now returned to explore James Corner Field Operations‘s newest park in more detail in the video above.

Welton Becket’s Santa Monica Civic Auditorium Says Goodbye

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
(Courtesy Santa Monica Civic Auditorium)

(Courtesy Santa Monica Civic Auditorium)

Welton Becket’s 1958 Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, once a beacon of midcentury optimism, this weekend shuttered its doors. The bending, intricately ornamented auditorium hosted several Academy Awards in the 1960s, as well as concerts by the likes of Eric Clapton, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Prince, and Bob Dylan.

But the facility recently fell on hard times, as bands gravitated to larger venues (leaving it mostly hosting trade fairs), and as a planned $52 million renovation was recently cancelled when California abolished its Community Redevelopment Agencies.

Santa Monica Civic, a working group strategizing the venue’s future, told the LA Times that it will take several months to develop a new plan for the landmarked structure, including film screenings, live theater, or even restaurants.

Eavesdrop> Bjarke Ingels Joins Heavy Hitters Vying for Santa Monica Project

Eavesdroplet, West
Friday, May 24, 2013


One of the few regions that superstar Bjarke Ingels has yet to invade is Southern California, and he’s made it clear that he wants that to change. It just might, soon. Ingels, we hear from an unnamed source, has been added to one of the teams competing to design the city’s 4th and Arizona mixed use project in Santa Monica, a city experiencing the beginnings of a building boom. They’ll replace RTKL on a team that also includes local firms Koning Eizenberg and Rios Clementi Hale. So now this shortlist is the most starchitect-heavy of any in the region, including not just BIG, but OMA with VTBS and Robert A.M. Stern with Brooks + Scarpa. In addition to a building that could reach up to 130 feet, the RFP calls for a “programmable gathering space that adds to the community’s civic life with public gatherings and seasonal activities.” Currently, the city hosts an ice skating rink on the site in the winters. According to the RFP a winner is expected to be chosen by Santa Monica’s city council by this August. Stay tuned.

Leading West Coast Architects Celebrate DnA’s Relaunch in Santa Monica

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Eventgoers outside the Tesla Store in Santa Monica. (Micah Cordy)

Eventgoers outside the Tesla Store in Santa Monica. (Micah Cordy)

On Monday, members of LA’s design and architecture cognoscenti descended on the Tesla store on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade to celebrate the official relaunch of KCRW’s DnA (Design and Architecture). The event featured a discussion between DnA host and executive producer Frances Anderton and Elon Musk, the visionary founder-CEO of Tesla and Space X. Those present included Michael Rotondi, Ray Kappe, Thom Mayne, developer Tom Gilmore, and Getty architecture curators Wim de Wit and Christopher Alexander.

Continue reading after the jump.

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