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Follow a Designer's Journey

See a part of the design process unfold.

The Plaza Team began its exploration by looking back at downtown Santa Monica nearly 140 years ago and we looked forward from there. You’ll notice the open space and connection to the sea.

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Downtown Santa Monica 1875

Map Marker

As the City grew,

it quickly became a sought-after destination because of its unique climate and location. For more than 100 years Santa Monica has supported indoor/outdoor living much like the Arcadia Hotel from 1889.

Our goal was to capitalize on this indoor/outdoor experience by maximizing open space and sunlight creating a connection between the building and the outdoors.

We were inspired by many indoor/outdoor spaces including, in part, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and its design for open space that could be experienced at each level, not just from the ground floor.

Building Block

So, we started with building blocks.

And created a configuration

that maximized sunlight, created open space on each level and actually generated more total open space than if the site were left completely empty.


Here is how we did it. The site with no development contains 112,000 square feet of open space.

Through the innovative design of layered urban parks, we are creating more outdoor open space than if the site was empty, totaling 125,000 square feet.


The goal of the design is to create useable, programmable, layered outdoor environments which can be enjoyed by the public and the occupants of the building alike.



The Plaza at Santa Monica is a true exploration in design that drew inspiration from the past and paired that with today’s most talented artists to create an engaging space for all of Santa Monica.