Eric Owen Moss Architects completes an office high-rise building wrapped by continuous steel bands in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California, USA

 Eric Owen Moss of  Eric Owen Moss Architects and Land Images have designed a 235-foot tall office building as part of an ongoing 35-year revitalization plan for a former industrial and manufacturing zone in Central Los Angeles, California.

The (W)rapper by Eric Owen Moss

The (W)rapper, as the project is titled, is a 17-story deconstructivist tower whose construction started in 2017.

The base of the building creates a barrier between the tower structure above and the seismic isolator foundations below.

This allows the building to move and respond to seismic events securely and safely.

Furthermore, when compared to typical high-rise structural systems, which are based on columns arranged along modular grid lines, Moss’s design is unique.

The (W)rapper by Eric Owen Moss

“(W)rapper is the only high-rise commercial office building in the USA that utilizes such a base isolated structure,” the studio emphasized.

A network of curvilinear bands emanating from several geometric center points provides all of the support for the (W)rapper.

Moreover, the office levels in the tower, with floor-to-floor heights ranging from 4,11 meters to 7,31 meters.

The 7,31-meter floor features a mezzanine suspended from the ceiling above.

All interior spaces offer flexible and the widest range of use and spatial experience to their tenants.  

According to the architect, the building is described as “a base-isolated structure”, this adds to the sustainable building conception, “providing a structure five times more seismically resilient than a typical American high-rise.

“This tower will survive a major earthquake and return its occupants to the office the following day. Other high-rise buildings facing similar seismic challenges will sustain significant damage and likely require demolition or substantial reconstruction before reoccupying,” according to the office.

To resemble concrete material on its exterior skin, the steel bands are coated with cementitious fireproofing, and the building core is clad in a two-coat cement plaster finish.

The studio did not use concrete in the structural system or fireproofing concept in the tower.

The (W)rapper by Eric Owen Moss

Aiming to create an open, column-free floor plan, the studio positioned the bands on the building perimeter so that it could provide the maximum spatial configuration and flexibility for interior design. 

The elevator and utility core of the building is offset to the south, freeing the office interiors, and providing the maximum floor plan flexibility.

Minimal perimeter band impediments offer wide, uninterrupted vistas of the entire Los Angeles basin from every floor.

The project also helps to promote the use of public transportation and a concomitant reduction of fossil fuel usage—with reduced availability of private and public auto parking and a direct pedestrian link from the train to the building lobby.

The studio employed a number of active and passive environmental strategies to create a high-performance building envelope that is equivalent to an elevated LEED Silver sustainability rating.

Project: The (W)rapper
Architects: Eric Owen Moss Architects
Lead Architect: Eric Owen Moss
Design Team: Maxime Lefebvre, Hugo Ventura, Raul Garcia, Eric McNevin, Juan Villarreal, Scott Nakao, Diana Rodriguez, Emmanuel Osorno, Renata Galan, Brennen Huller, Sean Briski, Nicholas Barger, Zarmine Nigohos, Tanveer Sami, Richard Yoo, Christine Lawson, and Francisco Delgado
Landscape Architects: Land Images
Client: Laurie Samitaur Smith, Samitaur Constructs
Photographers: Tom Bonner Photography
Drawings: Eric Owen Moss Architects

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