The OUE Skyspace at the US Bank Tower offers visitors a panoramic view of Los Angeles. When designing the interior of the observation deck on the 70th floor of the 72-story office building, the architect desired a space that would celebrate the romance, glamour, thrill, and optimism of Los Angeles.
“The overriding design principle is based on the Los Angeles Golden Hour, the ‘magic hour’ of cinematography, fractured light, Hollywood glamour, and Art Deco opulence,” says Gensler project architect Audrey Wu.
To reflect this theme, the design team envisioned eight golden chevron ceiling clouds installed in the lobby on the 70th floor. The original design called for the clouds to be made from drywall material, but the drywall did not work with the mechanicals in the plenum and another design was needed.
With a gold art deco style bangle bracelet as inspiration, the new design Gensler developed featured louver-like planks canted to create a layered look and painted gold to reflect the sun. With the deadline for the opening fast approaching, Gensler turned to the You Inspire Solutions Center at Armstrong Ceilings to make this unique concept a reality.
Working with Gensler and ceiling contractor Martin Integrated, the design team at the You Inspire Solutions Center achieved the design intent using custom Armstrong METALWORKS ceiling panels painted gold and attached to create a louvered look. “They almost look like Venetian blinds in appearance,” says design engineer Dan Holdridge.
The ceiling panels are made of extruded aluminum tubes that vary in length, depending on where in the lobby they are installed. “Each cloud is unique and consists of uniquely-cut extruded aluminum tubes,” explains Holdridge. To make sure the louvered panels fit together at the correct angles with the framing panels, the tubes were CNC-milled-and water-jetted to create the exact shapes needed for each cloud. ”Because of all the parts being used and the way they needed to come together perfectly, we drew each part in 3D to make sure the shapes were all going to work together when the ceilings were assembled,” he explains.
Pleased with the result, Wu was impressed at how well the chevron ceilings achieved the design vision. “It’s quite amazing how close to the original vision they turned out,” she says. Wu was also impressed with how quickly the ceilings became a reality, enabling Gensler to meet its deadline and have the Skyspace open on time.