Privacy in Trancparency: atelier V ‘s CUBE Hotel reinvigorates Santa Monica corner site

Westwood, CA


atelier V was commissioned to design a new boutique style hotel for a postage stamp size Santa Monica lot at the corner of 6th St. and Arizona.  The project was previously designed for a mixed use residential which the city was not happy with as it did not quite fit the urban context as they saw it.  “We attempted a whole new massing typology for a hotel at this corner which defied conventional rules” Says Mark Vaghei, AIA, atelier V’s Design Principal.  

The site is an extremely small site of only 75’x100′ with an intense program for a 63 room hotel in 6 levels with a limited height of 64 feet.  ” Very early in the process , and due to the height limit and the intense program, we decided on a post-tension-ed concrete structural system so we could minimize our floor to floor heights and slab thicknesses to fit 6 floors in” says Mark Vaghei, AIA.  Client asked for a roof top pool for the project.  However, due to the height limit it was decided to howl low out the corner of the building on floors two through four to allow for a Pool plaza on top of the ground floor restaurant.  This solution avoided any guest rooms at the corner of the busy intersection on the lower floors which would be the least desirable room locations. The pool plaza at the corner connects to a courtyard area with rooms on both sides providing a tranquil area for the guests and for larger gatherings both.  The massing of the building was arranged so that the 6 story mass is maintained both on 6th St. and Arizona Ave. while transitioning to a 3 story mass above ground level in the back side of the project with a lower roof garden on top.


The project has 4 levels of below grade Parking Garage with lobby and service areas as well as a restaurant on the ground level.  As far as the skin of the building, it was decided to make the building as transparent as possible while maintaining privacy for guests.  “We thought of Channel Glass as the perfect solution to provide light, translucency, energy efficiency and privacy all at the same time for the skin of the building”  Says Mark Vaghei, AIA.

The project has been submitted to the Santa Monica Planning Department and is awaiting approvals.  atelier V would like to thank our Client Mr. Michael Rahimi in providing the opportunity for conception of a great project.


alternate facade study


initial massing study


alternate fenestration study


Ground Floor Plan


Third Floor Plan


Building Section




For complete overview of the project please visit: www.atelierv.com