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Office & Mixed-Use

U.S. Bank Tower, Los Angeles

Photo: Larry Falke Photography
Photo: Larry Falke Photography

For the design of a lobby and observation deck at U.S. Bank Tower, Audrey Wu, project architect at Gensler, says, “The overriding design principle for the observation deck is based on the Los Angeles Golden Hour, the magic hour of cinematography, fractured light, Hollywood glamour and Art Deco opulence.”

A metal ceiling system with eight chevron-shaped ceiling clouds, inspired by a gold art deco bangle bracelet, continues throughout the lobby and OUE Skyspace Los Angeles observation deck.

Gensler specified the metal ceiling to maintain shapes over long distances without sagging or becoming wavy. The chevron-shaped ceiling panels range in size from 20 feet to 34 feet long by 13 feet to 15 feet wide. They are made from rectangular, 1/8-inch-thick extruded aluminum tubes.

Martin Integrated Systems installed 1,600 square feet of Armstrong Ceiling and Wall Solutions’ custom MetalWorks ceiling system with Gold Metallic finish. The drywall grid, exposed ceiling and mechanical elements above the ceiling clouds are painted black to accentuate the gold chevrons and make them appear to float.

Marty Hovivian, president at Martin Integrated Systems, says the most challenging part of the installation was building the support system to suspend the ceiling panels. “At first glance, it looks quite simple, but it was very complex. There were a lot of obstructions above the ceiling that we had to work around, a lot of metal framing and joisting, to ensure the installation would be seismically safe and carry the ceiling well.”

Martin Integrated Systems attached panels together to form chevron shapes and canted them upward to create a louvered appearance. The company installed 6-inch-long by 1 1/2-inch-wide louvered panels inside slots of vertical framing panels, which are 4 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide. The louvered pieces rise gradually about 12 inches from top to bottom. The slots in the framing tubes are cut in at an angle to allow for the elevation change.

Dan Holdridge, design engineer at Armstrong Ceiling and Wall Solutions’ You Inspire Solutions Center, which design engineered the ceiling system, says, “[The metal ceiling panels] almost look like Venetian blinds in appearance.”

The lobby and observation deck are on the 70th floor of the 72-story office building. The observation deck features an entrance to Skyslide, an attraction with a glass slide attached to the outside of the building for sliding down to an outdoor terrace at the 69th floor. The project was completed in June 2016.