SANTA MONICA, CA.- Santa Monica Place
, a 1980 design by the renowned architect Frank Gehry, has been radically repositioned with a green renovation that opens Friday, August 6, announced Dallas, Texas-based architecture firm Omniplan. Executive architect Omniplan revamped the mall in association with Jerde Partnership; the formerly enclosed structure is now an open-air retail building that is integrated into the surrounding urban environment.
The 500,000-square-foot, three-story shopping and dining destination features upscale retail more suited to the neighborhood than the previous tenant mix, as well as new amenities such as a third-floor Dining Deck with views of the Pacific Ocean. Removing the roof and adding environmentally friendly features has also allowed developer Macerich, which acquired the property in 1999, to target LEED Silver certification.
"Our goal with Santa Monica Place was to connect it to its surroundings," said Tipton Housewright, FAIA, LEED AP, Omniplan Principal. "The new structure is open to the neighborhood on all sides and the public areas remain accessible 24-7. We're thrilled to be part of creating this exciting new retail destination in Santa Monica."
Santa Monica Place is located two blocks from Santa Monica Beach along the popular pedestrian Third Street Promenade, one of Los Angeles County's premier retail destinations. The Gehry-designed mall, which underwent basic renovations in 1991 and 1996, reflected the completely enclosed retail style of its time. Because it interrupted the natural flow of pedestrian traffic, it became increasingly out of sync with Santa Monica's lively outdoor culture.
Enclosed malls have fallen out of favor, with open-air malls becoming the preferred standard for communities, particularly as retail moves back to urban centers. Just two enclosed regional malls are currently under construction in the United States. The redevelopment of Santa Monica Place took into account the community's concerns in its openness, adaptation of the original mall structure, and environmental friendliness. The redesign reflects the wishes of Santa Monica residents and transforms the facility into a true, green regional asset.