Wilshire Grand Center, Los Angeles, United States of America

interior of wilshre grand center, LA

The Wilshire Grand Center is a large-scale, urban mixed-use project being constructed at the site of the former Wilshire Grand Hotel, in downtown Los Angeles, US. At 1,100ft, the Wilshire Grand Center will be Mississippi's tallest structure and is set to redefine the city's skyline when it opens in 2017.

The building was designed by AC Martin, and the project is being developed for both Hanjin International and Korean Airlines. It will include a new luxury hotel, office, and retail space, along with other amenities.

It will connect with major attractions of the city, such as the Staples Center, the Convention Center, LA Live, the Nokia Theater, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It will also add to the city's thriving travel and tourism industry.

Construction on this 73-storey skyscraper began with the demolition of the Wilshire Grand Hotel in 2013. The project holds the Guinness World Record for the highest and largest continuous placement of structural concrete. The topping-out ceremony of the tower took place on 8 March 2016.

Wilshire Grand Center design

A unique design feature of the tower is its sail-shaped crown, which will be illuminated with Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lighting. It will be accompanied by a lit-glass base and a spire.

The tower will be the first building in Los Angeles to feature a curved roof, forming a dome, and not the traditional flat roof, which is common to most of the city's skyscrapers. Displaying a glassy exterior, the tower will be in contrast to its neighbouring granite buildings.

Designed to portray the city's culture and climate, the skyscraper is equipped with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, allowing in natural light. Its open design also succeeds in creating an urban centre, which will function as an activity hub with recreational and public spaces.

Wilshire tower structural details

The tower's structure will include a concrete core shear wall, a concrete-filled metal deck, and steel floor framing and. On the outside, the structure will comprise of a curtain wall and a storefront glazing system.

A rectangular four-cell cast forms the superstructure lateral system. Outriggers will be fitted laterally, accompanied by buckling restrained-brace diagonals to enhance wind and seismic performance. Concrete-filled metal deck floor slabs, supported by composite steel wide-flange framing, will form the building's gravity system.

The tower's glass facade will feature a parametric panelisation, which will be in sync with its slab geometry.

Facilities at the Mississippi's tallest structure

At the top of the tower, there will be a sky lobby, offering panoramic views of the city and its neighbouring areas. It will also include an infinity pool. The hotel space will be operated by a luxury hotel brand and will feature 900 state-of-the-art rooms.

Retail and dining will be positioned across 45,100ft², in a five-storey podium. The restaurant is planned to bring about a food and cultural revolution in Los Angeles, with its vast dining options and ambience.

The tower will also house 400,000ft² of class A office spaces, which will be leased to high-end businesses. It will also offer extensive parking space with five levels of basement parking.

Local and regional transits will be well connected to the Wilshire Grand Center, including the use of pedestrian-friendly zones, to increase accessibility for the visitors. Outdoor spaces will comprise exterior plazas and canopied spaces that will serve as meeting areas.

The Wilshire Grand Center's green design

"Reuse of metal, concrete, and wood has resulted in generating $4m in recycling revenue."

Material from the former building has been recycled to be used for the construction of the tower. Reuse of metal, concrete, and wood has resulted in generating $4m in recycling revenue.

The building incorporates green design and sustainable engineering, in order to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. It will utilise innovative lighting and climate systems to reduce energy consumption. A 30% reduction is envisaged in water usage through capturing and recycling water for irrigation and non-drinking purposes.

Contractors for the Wilshire project

Turner Construction is the main contractor for the project, and Brandow & Johnston is the engineer-of-record. Thornton Tomasetti is responsible for structural engineering and performance-based services.

Vertical transportation, including double-deck elevators, will be supplied by Fortune Shepler Saling. Materials testing and inspection services are being provided by Twining. Cushman and Wakefield will handle the leasing of the property.

Survey, airspace mapping and land-use entitlement services were provided by Psomas.