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Santa Monica Professional Building restored into a modern hotel

Howard Laks Architects designed the project.

February 16, 2021 |
Santa Monica Proper Hotel exterior during the day

All photos: Tim Street-Porter

The former Santa Monica Professional Building, originally built in 1928, has been converted into the Santa Monica Proper Hotel by Howard Lake Architects (HLA).

The city landmark was converted into 55 rooms for the hotel complex. A newly designed seven-story addition, which includes 216 rooms, is linked to the landmark building with a bridge. The ground floor is activated with retail, restaurants, and landscaped paseo, all open to the public.


Santa Monica Proper Hotel connection bridge at dusk


HLA’s design approach was to contrast the original building’s elegant Spanish Colonial Revival architecture with a free-form new building designed that avoids direct visual competition between the structures. The addition’s curving plan and walls drape around the historic building. The curved wings of the new building angle to harmonize with the 1928 building’s Y-shaped plan, while also contrasting to the faceted, angular shape of the historic building.

Additional team members include Chattel, Inc. (preservation architect), Elysian Landscapes (landscape designer), Kelly Wearstler (interiors), HLB Lighting Design (lighting consultant), Morley Builders (general contractor), Saiful Bouquet Structural Engineers (new building structural engineer), Structural Focus (landmark building structural engineer), KPFF Consulting Engineers (civil engineers), Donald F. Dickerson Associates (MEP engineer), and GAIA (LEED consultant).


Santa Monica Proper Hotel exterior at dusk

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