AIA|LA Tours: Santa Monica Hotels
January 25, 2018,
Downtown Santa Monica

AIA|LA Tours: Santa Monica Hotels
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2018 | 4:30PM - 6:30PM
Designed by: Design Architect: Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio, Executive Architect: Gene Fong Associates, Interior Design: Studio HBA
Project Owner: OTO Development
Tour led by: Gwynne Pugh, FAIA (Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio), Gene Fong, AIA (Gene Fong Associates, now AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design), David Dunphy, AIA, NCARB (Studio HBA)
Photo: John Linden

The unique project site serves as a vital entry point to downtown Santa Monica, greeting riders of the Expo Line and motorists exiting the freeway, while also sitting blocks away from numerous tourist attractions. We were hired to design two hotels that would work both aesthetically and functionally, anchoring a popular new esplanade while also taking into account the Metro station across the street. While both structures share some design traits - such as their interior courts that provide for daylight and cross-ventilation - it was important that each have its own identity.

The orange metal panels on the Courtyard by Marriott give the hotel its dramatic presence, while slight color variation within the panels adds texture, rhythm, and dynamism. The Hampton Inn & Suites, with its sea foam green tower, makes a striking contrast to its neighbor across the street. This juxtaposition is purposeful and is meant to symbolize the contrast between the ocean and the land. While the hotels wear familiar brands, their unique designs give them an upscale, boutique-like feel. Together the hotels act as a new gateway to the City, greeting residents and visitors alike as fresh icons of the Santa Monica skyline.

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