Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Santa Monica Place, Famous Architects, and Why Minnesota Malls Have Roofs

"Venice Designer of Santa Monica Place Mall Honored"
Paul Chavez, Venice-MarVistaPatch (May 1, 2012)

"David Rogers, a Venice-based architect, has been named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects in the design category. Rogers most recently was the principal designer of the Santa Monica Place mall.

"David Rogers, a Venice-based architect whose most recent works include the Santa Monica Place open-air shopping mall, has been named as one of 105 fellows of the American Institute of Architects in the design category.

"Rogers is the co-design director of The Jerde Partnership, an international architecture and design firm based in Los Angeles...."

The rest of the article is mostly about David Rogers: which figures, since the Venice-MarVistaPatch reporter is writing about a 'home town celebrity.' David Rogers has done work outside California: like the Beursplein in Rotterdam, Zlote Tarasy in Warsaw, and something in the Kuntsevo district of Moscow. Rogers isn't quite 'world-wide, though: He seems to have missed South America, Australia, Greenland, and Antarctica.

The Lemming's more interested in Santa Monica Place, though. In this post, anyway.

That's a Big Makeover

"Santa Monica Place Swaps Gehry for Airy"
Marissa Gluck, The Architect's Newspaper (August 6, 2010)
"Stodgy mall by starchitect transformed into luxury galleria hocking sunlight and sea breeze"

"Thirty years ago a little-known architect named Frank Gehry designed a three-story indoor mall near the beach in Santa Monica while working at Gruen Associates. It was a far cry from the sumptuous buildings he creates today, but the use of metal, glass, and expressive forms was still there, in its infancy.

"Now, little of the original Santa Monica Place remains, as it has been renovated and reconfigured into an outdoor luxury shopping center by Dallas-based Omniplan. Save for some chain link signage, it is an entirely different place, less jazzy and more natural, less claustrophobic and more connected, a classy joint-at least by mall standards-that the developer hopes will attract the crowds that never flocked here before...."

Happily, this article includes photos. Quite a few of them. Including this set, shrunk down to fit in this blog.

Here's what Santa Monica Place looked like, 'before:'

(Bobak Ha'Eri/Wikimedia Commons, via The Architect's Newspaper, used w/o permission)

That's what Frank Gehry's atrium for Santa Monica Place looked like. It was like a lot of other shopping malls built around 1980. Nothing wrong with that, in the Lemming's opinion, but the place apparently needed some pepping up.

Here's the same place, 'after:'

(Marisa Gluck, via The Architect's Newspaper, used w/o permission)
"Few of Gehry's flamboyant flourishes remain, but the roofs of the escalators do recall the mall's prior architect."

It's amazing, what taking the roof off a room will do for its appearance. Folks here in Minnesota don't have that option. Actually, we do: but the room would get really, really, cold during winter.

(Marisa Gluck, via The Architect's Newspaper, used w/o permission)
"Looking out toward the promenade."

That looks like a really nice place. There's room to walk, those tiny trees almost provide shade, and there isn't too much room to walk. The Lemming remembers vast concrete expanses of - concrete - back when Modernism was new.

(Marisa Gluck, via The Architect's Newspaper, used w/o permission)
"The dining deck, with upscale eateries and views of the ocean, is a main attraction."

This is the sort of architectural photograph that the Lemming appreciates. The camera is near a human's eye level - and placed where someone might actually be standing. That is how everybody except some acrobatic photographers is going to see the area. A tip of the Lemming's hat, for this 'you are here' photo.

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1 comment:

cotter said...

Houston is a very beautiful city malls are so useful who are landing to airport

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