DiMarzio Kato Architecture is designing what will become California’s tallest structure, a 77 story tower at 333 South Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles.
The 1,107 ft. tall building will include a mixture of condos, hotel rooms, commercial space, and additional hotel amenities and surpass the height of the city’s current tallest building, the Wilshire Grand.
Its proposed site is bounded by a freeway on three sides so the only way to build within the space was upwards.
“We got to the point where we were so close to being the tallest that we thought, ‘Why shouldn’t we be?'” said architect Jeff DiMarzi. He said the architects wanted to make a noteworthy addition to the LA skyline, which he describes as “boxy” and “not as aesthetically pleasing as other cities.”
SFGate reports the problem dates back to the city’s 1974 municipal code, which required each building to have an emergency helicopter landing facility on its rooftop. When the ordinance was overturned in 2014, it opened the door for architects to experiment with their rooftops in exchange for installing certain safety features like a fire service elevator and additional exit stairs.
The new building will have a sleek, tapered exterior. with the tower’s narrow top was designed to stand out among other buildings, DiMarzi said.
“We’re really trying to find a great addition to Los Angeles to give downtown an iconic tower that they can be proud of — just like New Yorkers are proud of their towers,” he said. “We didn’t find any reason to starting doing things like twisting or shifting or creating graphic facades or doing all sorts of trickery,” DiMarzio told Business Insider.
Instead, he said, the skyscraper “took a few cues” from a 13-story hotel on the site at 333 South Figueroa. The hotel’s prismatic walls and reflective panels will be complemented by the skyscraper’s angled glass and steel exterior.
DiMarzio said the development plan will likely be approved in about 18 months.
Plans call for a 13-story hotel currently on the site be converted into an apartment complex. There also is a need to preserve a 300-person international boarding school there as well.