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Here's the New, Stumpier Starchitect Design For Plaza at SaMo

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On the left, the original design; on the right, the "alternative 84" design, here seen from Fourth/Arizona

Starchitect Rem Koolhaas and his firm OMA have been yanked around quite a bit in just the last year or so since Santa Monica selected them to design the Plaza at Santa Monica, a mixed-user with a boutique hotel, restaurants, shops, a marketplace, and cultural and public space on a highly-covetable city-owned site at Fourth and Arizona. OMA's designs were picked in the summer, then rejected in the fall, then reselected in the winter in a version that included housing. And now there's yet another version. The initial design called for a 12-story, 148-foot-tall structure that looks like an opening fan, but, according to documents that will be presented to the Santa Monica City Council next week, the city also asked the firm to come up with designs for an 84-foot-tall structure just for the heck of it.

OMA created the stumpier version, and at a public meeting called by developers Metropolitan Pacific Capital last month, the council took a look. The rep for OMA that presented the shorter design was careful to point out its many weaknesses (it would hold half as much affordable housing and have a lower public art budget), so it's clear which version the architects prefer. At next week's council meeting, SaMo is set to discuss which of the two designs OMA should move forward with. Here's a look at the taller designs and how they compare to the new, shorter ones:

The view from Fifth Street/Arizona

View from Fifth Street

View from Fourth Street

· 4th/5th and Arizona Update and Preliminary Design Direction [Santa Monica]
· Fourth and Arizona developer unveils shorter design [SMDP]
· Plaza at Santa Monica Archives [Curbed LA]