Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles.



Wilshire Grand Center has redefined the Los Angeles skyline. Located on the site of the recently demolished Wilshire Grand Hotel, the tower is the tallest building in the Western United States. Reaching 73 stories and topped by an LED-illuminated, sail-shaped architectural feature, Wilshire Grand houses a fourstar hotel on the upper floors and Class-A offices on the lower floors. A five-story podium includes retail and dining options and the building offers five levels of subterranean parking. An upscale rooftop “sky lobby” provides guests with sweeping views of Los Angeles that extend to Santa Monica.

Thornton Tomasetti provided structural engineering and performance-based design services to engineer-of-record Brandow & Johnston. The tower’s superstructure lateral system consists of a nearly rectangular four-cell cast-in-place reinforced concrete shear wall system. The gravity system consists of concrete-filled metal deck floor slabs supported by composite steel wide-flange framing. Thornton Tomasetti applied performance-based design principles to validate the tower’s seismic performance and successfully presented the design to the Building Department’s Peer Review Panel.

Thornton Tomasetti also established a parametric façade panelization strategy for the geometrically complex, all-glass façade. Contracted by AC Martin Partners, Thornton Tomasetti synchronized slab and façade geometry between the architect’s Rhino and Revit models and used the combined data to generate two Revit models; one for the architect’s documentation of the façade panelization and the other with information needed for the façade consultant.

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Our façade engineering teams advise clients on the best way to develop both conventional and innovative façade systems, applying our knowledge of structures, glazing technology, mechanical shade systems and thermal behavior. We provide design, detailing and engineering support for enclosures of any shape or size, from minimalist to high-tech. We also provide expertise in safety and security glazing, along with glass frits and reflective coatings.

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Computational Analysis

While the range of shapes and forms that can be designed with modern modeling tools is almost limitless, geometric discipline is still essential for budget control. When forms are still in flux, the design team can use our proprietary tools to interactively study multiple geometric options and establish optimized shapes for structural frames and building surfaces, along with related systems.

Parametric modeling applies parameters such as materials, dimensions or performance criteria to define elements or element categories within a model. Once entered, they can be altered, individually or in combination, to explore and easily incorporate design changes. These 3D models contain intelligent information and can serve as deliverables, or they can be used to generate 2D drawings. Parametric models improve documentation speed and quality, enhance visualization, quickly perform geometry-based analytical tasks and easily calculate material quantities.

Generative modeling uses scripts – instead of direct input – to generate elements, providing even greater flexibility in iterating and testing many options. It allows architects, engineers and other project stakeholders to work together to quickly evaluate any number of concepts and variations.

Specialized Structural Engineering Expertise

Tall & Supertall

Pioneers in the design of high-rise buildings, we use advanced analysis to optimize structural systems, resolve interdisciplinary conflicts, and guard the safety and comfort of occupants. For structures of unconventional size, shape, structural system or function, we employ performance-based design methodologies when prevailing building codes are inapplicable or inadequate, such as in high-seismic areas. Our deep bench of seasoned professionals combines unequalled experience with sophisticated technological tools to enrich the creative process, promote effective collaboration, improve coordination and enhance visualization and communication throughout planning, design and construction. Click here for our brochure (PDF).