“We looked at elements of the Miramar such as its natural and cultural history and how it has changed over time to get the soul of the site. Our goal is that when you walk into it, you feel it is real and stable; that the landscape emerges from the site itself.” -Kathryn Gustafson, Principal GGN
When the Miramar opened in the 1920, it was known for its beautiful gardens and open spaces that invited hotel guests and Santa Monicans to stroll the grounds and enjoy the connection with the Pacific Ocean. The Moreton Bay Fig Tree, one of the oldest landmarks in Santa Monica, was the center of attention and was visible and accessible to the public. Years of incremental changes slowly hid the tree and the open space and magnificent gardens were reduced and made available only to hotel guests.
Sustainable and green, the new landscape design for the Miramar Santa Monica includes more than 50% ground floor open spaces with public gardens, walkways, seating areas and dramatic ocean views. It will visually reconnect the Palisades Park greenbelt to the Miramar (as it was historically), creating new pedestrian friendly public spaces for the community.
The Miramar Santa Monica opens the site in all directions, significantly enhancing the pedestrian experience along Ocean Avenue, Wilshire Boulevard and Second Street. The curvilinear building design embraces the historic Moreton Bay Fig Tree, which is newly protected and featured at the center of a dramatic new open space (approximately 36,000 sf) called the Miramar Gardens. The corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue includes a stunning new publicly-accessible garden area (approximately 14,000 sf) featuring a prominent piece of public art and activated by adjacent food and beverage outlets.
Internationally renowned and respected leaders in landscape architecture, Kathryn Gustafson and her partners at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol are dedicated to creating unique and enduring spaces. Gustafson Guthrie Nichol has been honored with numerous awards, commissions and accolades, including the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago, the winning design for the National Mall Design Competition for Union Square in Washington, D.C., and the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture in 2011.