Danish architecture studio BIG opens new office in Santa Monica, housed in a restored 1928 Spanish revival building originally designed by iconic Los Angeles architect Paul R. Williams. The office is led by partner Leon Rost and includes team members from BIG’s New York office and local recruits.

Preserving Historical Architecture

BIG kept a lot of the building’s historic elements, like the inside plasterwork and the expressive facade reliefs. The main office space on the second story was opened up, revealing the improved mechanical systems and timber framework. The workplace has timber rafters with skylights in between them and unfinished concrete columns. Large spanning desks and Roulade chairs by Bjarke Ingels’ co-founding company, KiBiSi, are included in the interior design.

Expanding West Coast Presence

BIG’s second U.S. office is the new Santa Monica location, which follows its 2010-founded New York branch. Both offices are convenient to public transportation and situated in a historic area. The studio’s expanding portfolio of West Coast projects, which includes the Robert Day Sciences Center at Claremont McKenna College and its partnership with Heatherwick Studio on Google’s San Francisco Bay area headquarters, is the driving force behind this growth.

Integrating Sustainable Technology

BIG aims to keep adding cutting-edge technology to the building, such as solar panels from existing neighborhood initiatives. The incorporation of these technologies is a reflection of BIG’s dedication to innovative and sustainable design methodologies.

BIG’s Commitment to Los Angeles

Partner Leon Rost highlighted the studio’s ties to Los Angeles, praising the city’s narrative culture, aspirations, and spirit of innovation. He thinks BIG on the Pacific Coast will continue to grow and experiment with new ideas thanks to the new headquarters. With a personal connection to Los Angeles, partner Kai-Uwe Bergmann pointed out that the new office will include “Scand-American” concepts into their upcoming work in the Pacific Rim area.

A stronger connection with the West Coast is indicated by BIG’s entry into Santa Monica, which is further supported by notable projects like the Vancouver House skyscraper in Canada.

Photos: Pooya AleDavood

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