Ground Broken on New 35-Story LA Tower; Engineers Address Challenges of Blending Modern Building with Historic Location, Seismic Conditions
Courtesy SGA America
Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, is providing structural engineering and performance-based design services for Perla on Broadway, developer SCG America’s 35-story, 740,000-square-foot tower at 400 South Broadway in Los Angeles. Designed by architect CallisonRTKL, the tower broke ground on September 21.
With 450 condo units, ranging from 400 to 1,300 square feet, Perla on Broadway will provide much-needed residential housing to L.A.’s Historic Core neighborhood. Its 7,000 square feet of ground-level retail and commercial space will add dynamic street and retail activity.
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.
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.
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. Ola Johansson is the Principal-in-Charge, and Drew Kirkpatrick the Project Manager for Thornton Tomasetti.
Courtesy SGA America
When completed, the new development will emerge as a towering testament to old and new Los Angeles, marking the first residential high rise built in the Historic Core in over a century. Perla’s residents will be in the heart of The Broadway Theatre District – a National Historic District and once the city’s main commercial and theatrical hub – which features the largest concentration of historic theaters on one street in the nation, most dating back to the 1920s and 1930s.
Architecture Rooted in History
Architectural and interior design plans were masterminded by architectural giant CallisonRTKL and global interior design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) and call for a distinctly modern structure that pays homage to the area’s artistic roots.
Conveying a subtle juxtaposition between old and new, textural metal screens – inspired by the ornate wrought iron grilles and vintage railings of adjacent historic buildings – are repeated throughout the exterior and interiors; while materials, technologies and finishes are completely modern in nature.
Additional highlights will include a uniquely lavish lobby with intricate art deco details, a towering inner atrium that spans four stories and is naturally lit through the skylight, and beautifully appointed residences with contemporary conveniences. The property will also feature 48,000 square feet of outdoor space spanning the roofs of the lower podium and tower, including a pool deck with sweeping views of the city, decks and kitchens, cabana lounges and seating areas, fire pits and grilling areas and a dog walk complete with an owner’s lounge and grooming station. Swinerton Builders will spearhead the project as general contractor.
About Thornton Tomasetti (www.ThorntonTomasetti.com)
Thornton Tomasetti is a leader in engineering design, investigation and analysis serving clients worldwide on projects of all sizes and complexity. Through its 10 complementary practices, Thornton Tomasetti addresses the full life cycle of a structure. We have supported clients working in more than 50 countries, with projects that include the tallest buildings and longest spans to the restoration of prized historic properties. Thornton Tomasetti comprises more than 1,200 engineering, architecture, sustainability practitioners and support professionals who collaborate from offices across North America and in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
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Thornton Tomasetti – 917.661.7800
James M. Kent, JKent@ThorntonTomasetti.com
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