Thornton Tomasetti’s Ola Johansson, principal in charge on the project (third from right), joined other Perla project partners at the Sept. 21 groundbreaking in downtown L.A. Photo courtesy of SCG America.
Shovels hit the dirt last week kicking off construction for Perla on Broadway, the first new residential high rise in Los Angeles’s Historic Core neighborhood in more than a century. Thornton Tomasetti is providing structural engineering and performance-based design services to developer SCG America for the 35-story, 740,000-square-foot tower designed by architect CallisonRTKL.
With 450 condo units, ranging from 400 to 1,300 square feet, Perla will provide much-needed residential housing to the area, while 7,000 square feet of ground-level retail and commercial space will add dynamic street and retail activity.
The 35-story tower is designed by CallisonRTKL architects to fit in with its historic surroundings. Rendering by Archean Light, courtesy of SCG America.
While Perla’s architectural design pays homage to its historic location, the totally modern building offers the latest amenities. Its hotel-like features include a fitness center, media room, WeWork office spaces, outdoor game room/conference area, a multi-level amenity space inside the atrium and a dog walk. A 10-story podium provides six levels of parking for up to 450 vehicles and 500 bikes. The podium and tower’s combined 48,000 square feet of outdoor space accommodates lounge areas with fire pits, kitchens and grills, and a pool deck atop of the podium.
The tower’s rooftop will feature lounge areas with fire pits and sprawling views of the city. Rendering by Archean Light, courtesy of SCG America.
Due to its location, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the project entitlement came with strict architectural requirements for building materials and massing. Among these were limitations on floor area as well as the tower and podium’s heights and setbacks. Consequently, an architectural challenge was finding harmony between the historically inspired façade design and podium base massing, and the traditional materials and massing of the surrounding buildings.
The amenity deck above the podium’s 10th floor. Rendering by Archean Light, courtesy of SCG America.
A structural performance-based design approach gave the architect flexibility to achieve the intended design vision, including tall, open residential units with floor-to-ceiling windows devoid of view-obstructing beams. The rigorous PBD approach considers site-specific seismic conditions and realistic ground motions and requires a detailed modeling of the structural frame. The result is a comprehensive understanding of the structure’s behavior, which ultimately provides for a better structural design. Other benefits of PBD included reduced construction time and cost. The project is scheduled for completion in 2020.
Perla’s units will offer open, column-free space and floor-to-ceiling windows. Rendering by Archean Light, courtesy of SCG America.
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